The Dia Art Foundation, a pioneer in the now-flourishing art scene of Chelsea, has officially checked out of the neighborhood, as the organization late last month sold its building at 548 West 22nd Street for $38.55 million to an unknown buyer.
The Observer first broke the news online on Dec. 4.
Dia’s director, Jeffrey Weiss, said the museum is searching for other Manhattan space, though he declined to offer any specific neighborhoods it was targeting. He did, however, rule out another Chelsea location. “We’re looking to reclaim a disused space, which is the way in which Dia has moved in the past, and not to build a new building,” Mr. Weiss said.
The museum, housed in a four-story brick building, closed for renovations in 2004 but never reopened due to the extent of repairs needed. Mr. Weiss said he was pleased by the high sales price, and said the money will be invested and likely used to purchase its next space.
Just two days before the Dia sale closed, the coin-collecting American Numismatic Society sold its building at 96 Fulton Street for $23.9 million, a move its executive director, Ute Wartenberg Kagan, said reflected a change in strategy for the organization.
Just a few years ago, the society intended to build a museum in the downtown building, showing off its extensive collection of historic currency, but the rising value of the space (Ms. Kagan said the society bought the building for $6 million in 1998) and rising costs associated with its maintenance led the organization to sell the space to landlord Kent Swig.