Housing Works on 17th: The Best Store in Chelsea Returns



Early in August, the Housing Works Thrift Shops flagship at 143 West 17th Street reopened after a sad two-month absence.

Why? “What we did was open it up, took everything out, ripped up the carpet” said H.W.T.S. President Matthew Bernardo. “We found the original floor,” which is gorgeous hardwood.

Now it’s an open 4,000-square-foot space for antique furniture, hip clothing and hipper shoes. “The old space had so many log jams,” Mr. Bernardo admitted.

In one week–on September 7 at 5 p.m. sharp–the space will be filled with a new fall collection (the press release is after the jump). And come January 2007, H.W. is opening its seventh shop. “We’re looking at the Heights and Cobble Hill,” said Mr. Bernardo.

What about Williamsburg or Greenpoint? “You need shoppers, but you also need donors for high value stuff.” Of course.

Until then, New Yorkers who can’t make it to Chelsea can shop online at an auction.

On the other hand, shoppers closer to 17th Street know it’s become a thrift shop mecca: there’s Angel Street steps away from the renovated flagship, and 17@17 down the block. But: “We consider ourselves the father!” Mr. Bernardo said.

It’s true. This year the stores will gross $11m, the highest number yet. Where does the money go? The shops bring in a third of the revenue for Housing Works, which is the largest American “community-based AIDS service organization.”

Update: The store was closed for 2 months, not 12.

Max Abelson


Fall Previews – The ultimate shopping night (x 3!) featuring the very best and one of a kind merchandise that has been saved for months, including new and vintage items from top home and fashion designers and brands, all at “charitable prices” – generally 70% off retail.

Available Merchandise Includes:
Gucci men’s tuxedos valued at $5,000, priced at $600
Gucci women’s jewel toned satin trench coats valued at $2,000, priced at $300
Gucci sterling cuff links for $100
Black Prada men’s dress shoes for $50
Vintage Yves Saint Laurent dress for $95
Manolo Blahnik shoes for $75
Furla brown leather purse for $125

1940’s mirrored vanity for $1,200
Mid-century Thonet chairs for $150 a piece
Jonathan Adler pair of vases for $50
Calvin Klein platinum tableware set for $800

Housing Works, the nation’s largest community-based AIDS service organization helping to improve the lives of people living in New York with HIV/AIDS. So please help us get the word out!

5:00 – 8:00 PM

Thursday, Sept. 7th 143 West 17th St (6th and 7th Aves) 212.366.0820
Tuesday, Sept. 12th 306 Columbus Ave (74th and 75th Sts) 212.579.7566
Thursday, Sept. 14th 157 East 23rd St (3rd and Lex Aves) 212.529.5955

$10 donation for entry

Note: The Real Estate apologies for the briefly incorrect photos. Housing Works on 17th: The Best Store in Chelsea Returns