Eye on Real Estate: Early 2015 relaunch had been expected for Montague Street icon

bossert-summer-opening

The owners of the landmarked Hotel Bossert, who are giving it a gut renovation, are aiming to reopen it this summer. Eagle photos by Lore Croghan

Fine wine takes time. So does remodeling a landmark like the Bossert.

The new owners of the iconic Brooklyn Heights hotel expect it won’t be ready to re-open until this summer, Eye on Real Estate has learned — instead of early this year, as had been anticipated.

“We’re shooting for summer,” developer David Bistricer of Clipper Equity told us.

“As you know, it’s a gut renovation,” he said. “All the rooms will be as good as new.

“That takes a long time.”

This is the second time in two years that the re-opening date has been changed. The first time, the re-opening, expected around May 2014, was switched to a target date in early 2015.

Bistricer and developer Joseph Chetrit bought the century-old Hotel Bossert for $81 million in 2012 from the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The religious organization had used it to provide lodging for out-of-town members on visits to the Watchtower’s headquarters in Brooklyn Heights.

The purchasers are revamping the property at 98 Montague St. as a luxury boutique hotel. It will have 279 rooms, city Buildings Department records indicate.

They are reviving the hotel’s rooftop restaurant, but limiting the hours it will be open in response to nearby residents’ concerns about noise.

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Long known as the Waldorf-Astoria of Brooklyn, the Bossert was a gathering place in its heyday for debutantes — and the Brooklyn Dodgers, who celebrated their 1955 World Series win there.

The developers have not yet decided who will serve as the hotel operator.

“We have a couple people we’re talking to,” Bistricer said.

He likes working with Jeffrey Holmes of Woods Bagot, who was brought in mid-project as the architect of record.

“He’s a great architect, nationally known,” Bistricer said.

Initially, Gene Kaufman had been the architect of record.

The reopening of the Bossert is widely expected to bring an uptick in retail and restaurant revenues on Montague Street.

 

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