Highline Ballroom to close after landlord derails lease renewal

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Paul McCartney playing the Highline Ballroom in June 2007. Instagram / Highline Ballroom

BY GABE HERMAN | The Highline Ballroom has announced that it will be closing soon.

The Chelsea music venue has been at its current location beneath the High Line, at 431 W. 16th St., between Ninth and Tenth Aves., since 2007.

“Unfortunately, after 12 years our landlord has decided not to renew Highline Ballroom’s lease,” wrote owner Steven Bensusan in a Jan. 11 statement on Facebook. “For over a year we were led to believe that a renewal was imminent. However it is now clear that the landlord has other plans for the building. This is obviously a growing trend within the New York real estate market impacting various entertainment venues and businesses.”

Bensusan continued in the statement that the club hopes to reopen someplace nearby in the Chelsea/Meatpacking District neighborhood. He said a final show date at the current spot would be announced soon.

A week after the statement, the Highline Ballroom did not respond to a request for comment about a planned final show date or if they knew where the venue might reopen. Its Web site currently lists shows scheduled through mid-April.

The Highline Ballroom has a 400-seat capacity, 700 for standing, and has featured some of the biggest names in music, including Lou Reed, Paul McCartney, The Black Keys, The Roots, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Amy Winehouse and Adele.

The band Parachute performing at the Highline Ballroom in 2012. Instagram / Highline Ballroom

The Facebook statement drew many sad responses from fans, with messages like, “Damn, the end of an era,” and “NYC is killing the very fabric it was based on. Sad.” Another post said, “This was a cool venue… sad to see it go. Looking forward to a new location!” And a woman wrote, “I attended my first concert here when I was 12 (11 years ago!) and saw so many of fave bands here. This is so sad!”

“We have been very fortunate to present some of music’s biggest names in a small club atmosphere,” owner Bensusan wrote in the statement. “It is a shame that we have to close our doors. Though we are grateful for the support we have received from fans and artists over the years in making the original Highline Ballroom location a truly unique experience.”