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FedEx Blog

How Logistics Helped Revive a Popular New York Neighborhood

April 30, 2018

At more than 200 years old, the Chelsea neighborhood in New York City has seen its  share of change.  The name “Chelsea” has ties to Great Britain, where the Royal Hospital Chelsea was a retirement home for soldiers in London, and in the beginning, Chelsea was home to Manhattan’s upper middle class.

After thriving for decades as a residential area, industrial zones began to develop nearby along the Hudson River, and by the time of the Civil War, the area west of Ninth Avenue was home to distilleries that made lamp fuel as well as the huge Manhattan Gas Works complex.  By the early 20th century, the west part of Chelsea was industrial and the eastern part was largely commercial—home to the famous “Ladies Mile.”  By the 1970s, Chelsea was dilapidated.

That evolution is only part of Chelsea’s history.  Renovations and zoning changes over the next few decades began to take shape, attracting a more upscale crowd, and new business.  They not only relied on the growing refinement to draw people into Chelsea, but also an evolution in logistics to move products out of Chelsea to the rest of the world.

Today, Chelsea is a tourist destination with Chelsea Market as its center.  The neighborhood is home to more than 200 businesses, art galleries, expensive homes, and The Highline, an elevated park built on old railroad tracks.  Watch as three business owners and a longtime Chelsea resident share their stories, and how logistics continues to serve as a critical thread to the neighborhood’s success.



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