The Client

Seeking a vibrant lifestyle in New York City, a UK-based industrialist set his sights on moving to Chelsea for its rich culture and dynamic nightlife. He purchased two adjacent townhouses with the vision of creating a single, luxurious private residence. These sister buildings, each with four floors, unfinished basements, and inaccessible roofs, offered a unique opportunity for his future home. 

The townhouses, located in the heart of Chelsea, were steeped in history but in a state of neglect. The owner envisioned a residence that would harmoniously combine the historical charm of Chelsea with contemporary luxury and comfort. This project was a complete reimagining of space, requiring a thoughtful balance between preserving historical elements and introducing modern amenities.

The owner's vision for the townhouses aimed to create a space that reflected his lifestyle and aspirations, blending the historical charm of the buildings with the modern amenities and luxury he desired. This ambitious project required not just architectural and construction expertise, but also a deep understanding of the regulatory landscape to bring his vision to fruition.

The Problem

The two townhouses were plagued by structural issues and flooding. One building housed eight units, while the other functioned as a boarding house with nine rooms. The challenge lay in converting and combining these historic structures into a cohesive single-family residence while respecting historical and structural concerns. This task demanded careful permit filing to address the extensive structural changes needed.

A significant part of the renovation involved transforming the basement into a wine cellar, meaning the team would have to excavate the space and perform further modifications to the low ceilings. Another major aspect of the project was reinforcing the roof to accommodate a pool, a feature that would add a touch of modern luxury to the historic residence. The interior redesign plans were ambitious, including a grand staircase, double-height ceilings, fireplaces, modern bathrooms, and a state-of-the-art kitchen. All these changes required careful planning and DOB approval, given the significant alterations from the original design.

The renovation of these historic townhouses required a delicate approach. The buildings needed significant structural work to ensure safety, and, the process of converting them from multi-unit structures to a single-family residence involved navigating complex building codes and regulations.

The Solution

Nexus Consulting took on the challenge, carefully identifying and obtaining the necessary permits for the extensive renovation. The project scope included general construction, plumbing, mechanical, sprinkler, structural, and foundation work permits. 

Obtaining a Certificate of No Harassment was the first hurdle, a legal necessity to prove that previous tenants had vacated voluntarily. Despite the buildings being vacant at the project's inception, this certification was crucial to proceed. Additionally, the new owner inherited about 20 outstanding violations that needed resolution before any renovation could begin, adding another layer of complexity to the project.

Nexus Consulting's role in this project extended beyond just obtaining permits. They provided the individuals involved with guidance on how to navigate the complexities of renovating historic buildings, helping them ensure that every aspect of the renovation complied with both building codes and the owner's vision. Their expertise in handling such intricate projects was crucial in transforming these historic townhouses into a modern, luxurious residence.

The Results

Nexus Consulting's expertise in navigating complex regulatory requirements led to the successful acquisition of seven different permits, a process that could have taken years without their guidance. The team first tackled the outstanding violations, resolving them within six months. Simultaneously, they secured the necessary permits to begin the renovation, effectively managing the project timeline.

The renovation work is currently in progress, with the project slated for completion in 2024. As work continues, the project continues to demonstrate Nexus Consulting's ability to turn a challenging renovation project into a reality. These two teams together are now seamlessly blending historical architecture with modern luxury. The result will be a residence that reflects the owner's vision and adds a new chapter to the storied history of these Chelsea townhouses.

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