Browsing Tag

bossert hotel

Brooklyn Heights, Landmark Preservation, Real Estate

All-New Bossert Hotel Could Open As Soon As Summer 2013

January 17, 2013

The Bossert Hotel could begin receiving hotel guests at 98 Montague Street as early as this summer, according to a report from the Architect’s Newpaper—as long as construction remains on schedule. That includes preserving the facade, lobby and reception area, updating the rooms with new design finishes and amenities, and restoring the Marine Roof to a restaurant and lounge.

On January 8, the Board of Standards & Appeals unanimously approved a request for variance to change the Certificate of Occupancy for “transient hotel use, accessory hotel use and commercial use,” officially allowing the building to open its doors as a hotel once again.

David Bistricer and Joseph Chetrit closed on the 103-year-old, 14-story property, for $81 million in November. Since the 1980s, the building had been owned the Jehovah’s Witnesses and used as a community facility. At the time of purchase, Bistricer said the hotel would remain independent and maintain the name of original developer, lumber mogul Louis Bossert.

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web

Brooklyn Heights, Real Estate

Watchtower Sells 67 Remsen Street For $3.25 Million

October 10, 2012

BHB reported in late July that another property in the Jehovah’s Witnesses real estate portfolio had hit the marketplace: the beautiful five-story, 5,088sf residential brownstone at 67 Remsen Street—which ironically backs up to the organization’s recently sold Bossert Hotel. Brownstoner shares that the Brooklyn Heights building has sold for $3.25M, just a shaving from its asking price of $3.4M.

It features 10 units, a private garden and will be delivered vacant, according to David Schechtman of marketing firm Eastern Consolidated. The Real Deal reported in July that the building housed students and volunteers associated with the Watchtower Society. As the Witnesses move forward with a planned relocation upstate, the residences were no longer necessary, he said.

In all, Johovah’s Witnesses’ portfolio included 25 properties in Brooklyn, which they began selling off two years ago. Other recent sales include 183 Columbia Heights, 161 Columbia Heights and 50 Orange Street. (Photos: Chuck Taylor)

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web

Brooklyn Heights

Fuming 200 Hicks Street Rez Take Hotel Conversion Grievances To NY Daily News

August 14, 2012

The group of concerned residents who reside at 200 Hicks Street and voiced their concerns to BHB last Friday about the Bossert Hotel’s conversion back to a hotel have now shared their grievances with the New York Daily News. Brooklyn Heights rez Elizabeth Bailey and her comrades believe the plan before the Bureau of Standard and Appeals could create serious noise, traffic and safety issues in the area.

The Daily News, with typical bravado, writes: “A bar battle is brewing in Brooklyn Heights where residents are foaming mad over a developer’s plan to open a rooftop suds spot and restaurant at a historic hotel. Locals living near the Bossert Hotel at 98 Montague Street are afraid the bar and event space will lead to noisy crowds partying late into the night.”

Bailey, who has lived at 200 Hicks Street for 27 years, is quoted in the story, saying, “We want to work with the developers to make sure there are enforceable restrictions around noise.” She and the other unhappy residents “are pressing the city’s BSA to reject or greatly restrict the hotel’s application to change its zoning to allow the bar and restaurants, the News says. A hearing is scheduled September 11.

They have also employed the services of attorney Al Butzel, who met last month with representatives of the hotel’s developers, David Bistricer and Joseph Chetrit, to voice the group’s concerns, including traffic jamming the narrow one way street out front: “It’s a tiny little street taken over by Key Food trucks and kids walking with their parents. The developers have referred to the Carlyle as being their prototype but this is not Madison Avenue,” he says.

Kathleen Cudahy, a spokeswoman for the hotel’s new owners, says a “design consultant” is working to make sure “there’s no adverse impact due to any noise. This is not going to be a big destination place for large events such as wedding or a bar mitzvah.”

The developers bought the 14-story hotel for an estimated $90 million although the official price hasn’t been formally listed. They plan to expand the number of rooms from 224 to 302, with a $300 a night room rate, Bistricer said during a recent real estate luncheon. The hotel is slated to open in a year.

Read the Daily News story here. The New York Observer also writes about the Bossert conversion here.

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web

Brooklyn Heights

Residents Of 200 Hicks Street Concerned Bossert Hotel Conversion Will Create Noise, Safety Issues

August 10, 2012

A group of concerned residents who reside at 200 Hicks Street are taking to task the new owners of the Bossert Hotel at 98 Montague Street. Brooklyn Heights rez Elizabeth Bailey and her comrades believe the conversion plan currently before the Bureau of Standard and Appeals could create serious noise, traffic and safety issues in the area.

She writes to the Brooklyn Heights Blog: “Although residents of Brooklyn are happy, mostly, about our borough’s resurgence, or rather, emergence, those of us who live here because it is a quiet, safe place to live and bring up children, are worried that these developers are showing little regard to neighborhood concerns.”

New owners David Bistricer and Joseph Chetrit are seeking a variance to convert the hotel to a “commercial transient facility,” from its status as visitor housing for previous owner Jehovah’s Witnesses. The BSA has scheduled a hearing on the application September 11.

The group of residents at 200 Hicks, located at the northwest corner of Montague, say that the plan could deter the Heights’ peaceful persona “if it is done without regard to the nature and character of our residential community.” Bailey points to a New York Times feature on the Bossert from November 2011, in which Brooklyn Heights Association executive director Judy Stanton notes concerns about upkeep, “since Watchtower society placed a premium on maintenance, including the surrounding sidewalks and parks.” Stanton also intimates that the neighborhood may become livelier if the Bossert is converted into a high-end hotel.

Bailey writes, “The developers are proposing to increase the number of rooms from 224 to 302. Although they speak of creating a boutique hotel, over 300 rooms is a pretty big boutique. They also have plans to build a ground floor restaurant, event spaces (weddings and bar mitzvahs, etc.) and a bar on the rooftop. The developers contend that the increase in traffic on the busy corner of Montague and Hicks from their proposed hotel will be negligible.” She finds this “hard to believe.”

“There have been many articles in the New York press about the negative impact of noisy bars—particularly rooftop bars—on residential neighborhoods,” Bailey adds, citing Times’ stories here and here.

“We understand from press reports that both Chetrit and Bistricer have been publicly criticized for various aspects of their past real estate ventures. Among other controversial matters, Chetrit is one of the investors in the Empire Hotel near Lincoln Center, which has been the subject of a three-year battle that a West 62nd Street coop had to wage in the courts over ‘torment’ from the noise from its rooftop bar well after midnight,” Bailey says. “The developers are also involved with the Chelsea Hotel, which has been the subject of recent controversy. Noise and traffic: That’s what Brooklyn Heights residents are worried about.”

The 200 Hicks Street group proposes that restrictions be put in place on the proposed hotel/bar: “The aim is to limit the increase in noise and traffic that would compromise the safety and the character of this neighborhood.” Bailey invites public discourse of the issue, and is available via email at

Comments from the BHB community?

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web

Brooklyn Heights, News

Bistricer Taking Minimalist Approach to Bossert Conversion?

August 8, 2012

Your correspondent wished he could attend today’s real estate luncheon at the Brooklyn Historical Society, but a day job interfered. Fortunately, The Real Deal was on hand to give us the straight skinny. First off: very few changes are being made to the interior, “which w[as] meticulously maintained by the [Jehovah’s] Witnesses [the building’s previous owners].” Mostly, new owner David Bistricer said, what is going on is upgrading electricity and plumbing. What is being done is so unobtrusive that it doesn’t bother the four long-term residents of the building who predate the Witnesses’ acquisition of it and whose continued right to live there is guaranteed by law.

Bistricer also said that any rooftop lounge would be “private.” We’re not sure what this means. Will it be accessible to hotel guests only, or be a private club, like the Casino? In our view, this would be unfortunate. Many of us would like to have a neighborhood “Top of the Mark” where we and our guests, visitors to the neighborhood, and hotel guests, could enjoy drinks, low volume music, and amazing views.

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

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Brooklyn Nets, News, Sports

Glenn Markman on Dellarocco’s, the Beach Shack, the Nets, and Brooklyn’s Future

July 29, 2012

Karl and his cam got quite the workout Friday evening. Following his visit to the opera in Brooklyn Bridge Park and Dellarocco’s “soft opening”, he asked Glenn Markman about his views on his and his partners’ new venture, Dellarocco’s, and got an answer that extended to discussion of the new Beach Shack, Brooklyn Bridge Park, downtown Brooklyn, the Nets, the Bossert Hotel, Brooklyn real estate in general, and prospects for the future. Video after the jump.

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

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Brooklyn Heights, Events

BBP & Bossert To Be Addressed At Brooklyn Real Estate Roundtable

July 24, 2012

The Brooklyn Historical Society will host a Brooklyn Real Estate Roundtable Luncheon, on Tuesday, August 7, from noon to 2 p.m. Among those scheduled to speak are Clipper Equities principal David Bistricer, who will outline his vision for redevelopment of the Bossert Hotel into a boutique hospitality property; and Regina Myer, Brooklyn Bridge Park president, who will discuss the latest developments in and around the 85-acre destination.

Tickets for the luncheon, mind you, are not for those looking for inexpensive entertainment. A single is $300(!), while “corporate series” entry for up to four (which also includes the next meet on November 13) costs $2,100(!!) Let’s hope they’re serving champagne & caviar.

Also slated at the Roundtable are Manhattan Borough president Scott M. Stringer to discuss the NYC Budget and Real Estate Taxes; and Alex Barrett, AIA of Barrett Design & Development, discussing his present and future residential projects.

The Brooklyn Historical Society is located at 128 Pierrepont Street, at the corner of Clinton Street in Brooklyn Heights. For more information, call Taina Sanon at 347-381-3705.

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web

Bang! Bang! Another Weekend Of Montague Street Mayhem

June 30, 2012

Last weekend, Montague was blocked as crews work on the street’s subterranean infrastructure. Ditto this weekend, as vehicles were re-routed from motoring down Montague between Hicks and Henry streets. The predominant construction is taking place in front of the Bossert Hotel at 97 Montague, where a peek inward reveals a cavalcade of wires, pipes and beams hearkening projects through the decades.

In addition, new sidewalks are being paved at Montague and Henry, in front of Corcoran Realty, while the opposite corner near City Chemist is being reshaped along the curb area. See photos below the jump.

(Photos: Chuck Taylor)

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web

Brooklyn Heights, News

Bossert Plans Draw Cheers and Caveats

June 21, 2012

Update: Following last evening’s hearing, a majority of the Community Board 2 Land Use Committee voted to approve the new owner’s request for a variance to re-convert the Bossert to transient hotel use. The matter will now go to the full Community Board for consideration. We’ll keep you posted.

David Bistricer, buyer of the Bossert Hotel, was on hand for this evening’s hearing before Community Board 2′s Land Use Committee on his application for a variance to reconvert the grande dame of Montague to a “transient hotel.” While he didn’t speak, his attorney and several consultants offered these assurances: (1) it will be a hotel–indeed, a “sophisticated and upscale” (but not too upscale) hotel–not a dorm; (2) the beautiful lobby won’t be altered, but will become home to a first-class restaurant; (3) there will also be dining on the roof, but it will be very quiet; and (4) their studies of likely increases in traffic from guests arriving by taxi, limo or private car (they have an arrangement with Quick Park for valet parking service) and from delivery trucks indicate that the impact, compared with present conditions under Watchtower ownership, is not “significant.”

So, who liked it? The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, citing, among other things, the new owner’s “commitment to local hiring”; Glenn Markman, co-owner of Heights Cafe and soon-to-open Della Rocco’s, who said it will attract more business and perhaps more people to move to the Heights; Karen Johnson (who discovered she had a namesake in the audience), who “feels confident it will be done correctly”; the Montague Street BID, whose Executive Director, Brigit Pinnell, said the real comparison to be made was with alternative uses for the building, which include a dorm, a social services facility, or medical offices; and Borough President Marty Markowitz, whose spokeswoman said it will “help Downtown Brooklyn’s business community to thrive.”

Who had doubts? Brooklyn Heights Association Executive Director Judy Stanton asked what controls are in place to assure that this will be, and remain, a first class hotel. Consultant Jeff Klein said that the design, level of service, and room rates should do the trick. Ms. Stanton then noted that if the projections were wrong, there could be a large increase in taxi traffic. She also said she was concerned about guests arriving by private car; in particular, that they might have to wait in idling cars for valet service. Spokesmen for the buyer said that the assumptions made in the environmental assessment were “very conservative”, and that guests reserving rooms would be asked if they planned to arrive by private car, so that valet service could be scheduled to meet them.

Other cautionary messages came, unsurprisingly, from people living in the Bossert’s immediate vicinity. Several people from 200 Hicks Street expressed concerns. Richard F. Ziegler said the planned re-conversion “could be an asset [to the neighborhood] or an absolute devastating nightmare.” He found the statements made by the buyer’s attorney and consultants “confusing,” and said the residents of 200 Hicks had retained “high priced counsel” to represent their interests in the variance proceedings. Gretchen Dykstra, former City Commissioner of Consumer Affairs, expressed great concern about the rooftop lounge and dining area. She noted that a rooftop lounge at the Empire Hotel, also owned by Mr. Bistricer’s company, had become a venue for parties with DJs and loud music that went late into the night. When local residents complained, they were told that the owner wasn’t responsible; the space was leased to the organization[s] giving the parties. Kay Desai said more information was needed, and her husband, Rohit Desai, sternly warned Committee members that their failure to demand such information could be in violation of law.

Other neighbors with cautionary messages were David Green and Nils Larson, both Remsen Street residents. Mr. Green noted that the valet parking operation would result in an increase in traffic on Remsen because cars being taken from the hotel to Quick Park would have to go that way. Mr. Larson, a recent high school graduate, said he had grown up in Brooklyn Heights and always loved the neighborhood’s serenity. He has two much younger brothers who, because the local streets are safe, are able to walk to school and to squash lessons. He fears that the increase in traffic generated by the hotel may end that.

Photo: Brownstoner.

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web

Hearing Scheduled Wednesday For Bossert Flip Back To Hotel

June 20, 2012

Reminder: A notice has been sent to all residents within 400 square feet of the Bossert Hotel, alerting them to the application filed with the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) to allow reconversion to its “original transient hotel use.” The Bossert at 98 Montague Street is currently zoned outside of such a commercial zone. As reported on BHB May 14, following its recent purchase for $90M+, developer David Bistricer intends to turn the former Watchtower-owned Bossert into a 302-unit hotel.

The presentation and Q&A takes place at the Land Use Commity of Community Board 2, today, Wednesday June 20 at 6 p.m. at the Polyechnic Institute, Dibner Library, Room LC 400 at 5 Metrotech Center.

At the meeting, the Land Use committee will review the application and is expected to vote on a formal recommendation to the BSA. Pre-register for the hearing at 718-596-5410, if interested in speaking.

Source: Brooklyn Heights Blog

From the Web