Storied Hotel Bossert misses reopening date, again
A soft opening that was expected in September didn’t materialize.
The reopening of Brooklyn Heights’ storied Hotel Bossert has been delayed once more.
After being closed to the public for three decades under the ownership of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the century-old landmark was expected to have a September soft opening following years of closure for renovation, the Brooklyn Eagle previously reported.
But that didn’t happen.
The lobby of the Waldorf-Astoria of Brooklyn, as it was nicknamed in its heyday, remains unfurnished. When the Eagle stopped by the property on Wednesday, a security guard stationed inside the front entrance said there was nobody onsite who could provide information about when the hotel will open.
The Renaissance Revival-style property at 98 Montague St., which has frontage on Hicks and Remsen streets, doesn’t yet have a promotional website or online reservations system.
The 14-story Bossert belongs to the Chetrit Group, which is the majority owner of the Tillary Hotel in Downtown Brooklyn.
Aliya Huey, the Tillary’s general manager, is likely to be the Bossert’s general manager during the first couple months of its operations. She didn’t respond to multiple phone messages or emailed questions about the Bossert.
Chetrit Group principal Joseph Chetrit didn’t respond to a phone message or emailed questions.
The Eagle was allowed to tour the 284-room property in June. At that time, the restoration work looked like it was nearly finished. There was furniture in some of the hotel rooms.
The Bossert’s reopening date has been pushed back several times over the past five years.
In the middle of the renovation project, the developers hired a new architecture firm. The hotel rooms needed a complete overhaul, which was time-consuming.
And the management company initially chosen to operate the Bossert, an Argentine firm called Fen Hoteles, bowed out of the project.
The hotel, which lumber tycoon Louis Bossert built, opened in 1909. Helmle & Huberty, a high-profile architecture firm of that era, designed it.
Its rooftop restaurant and nightclub, the Marine Roof, was a big draw for many years.
The Brooklyn Dodgers celebrated their October 1955 World Series win over the New York Yankees at the Bossert with a blowout party in the Gold Room. Dodgers pitcher Johnny Podres, who was named the series’ Most Valuable Player, and Dodgers power hitter Duke Snider led a conga line that night.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses bought the hotel in the 1980s when they were major property owners in Brooklyn Heights. They used the Bossert to provide free lodging to out-of-town members who were visiting their world headquarters, which was located on Columbia Heights.
The Watchtower sold the Bossert to the Chetrit Group and David Bistricer of Clipper Equity for $81 million in 2012, city Finance Department records show. The sale was part of the religious organization’s multi-year liquidation of its Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO real estate holdings to prepare for a headquarters relocation to Warwick, New York.
This year, Bistricer sold his 40 percent stake in the Bossert to the Chetrit Group.
Follow reporter Lore Croghan on Twitter.
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