Brooklyn Heights’ Hotel Bossert reported to be in pre-foreclosure

May 6, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
The exterior of the Hotel Bossert on Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights.
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The elegant Hotel Bossert on Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights, which has seen its share of troubles since it was sold by the Jehovah’s Witnesses in 2012, has now had a pre-foreclosure proceeding filed on it.

According to Pincus Co., a real estate website, a “securities lender,” CF Trust 2019-Boss, filed a pre-foreclosure law suit on the Chetrit Group’s 187,300-square-foot Hotel Bossert at 98 Montague St.

A document from the Office of the City Register shows other entities are also involved, including Wells Fargo Bank and Cantor Commercial Real Estate Lending.

The total due on the $112 million loan, according to the court filings, is $126.7 million. The Bossert entity is 98 Montague LLC. The Chetrit Group hasn’t yet filed response papers, according to Pincus Co.

During the last 10 years or so, the hotel was scheduled to open several times, but each time, management postponed the date.

Part of the opulent lobby of the Hotel Bossert in Brooklyn Heights, as seen after the hotel’s most recent renovation. Eagle file photo by Lore Croghan

The Bossert, built in 1909, was one of the most exclusive of the many hotels that used to operate in Brooklyn Heights. During the 1920s and ’30s, its rooftop nightclub, called the Marine Roof, was a popular gathering place, and radio stations broadcast big bands that played there.

The hotel also had a longtime association with the Brooklyn Dodgers, and in 1955, when the team won the World Series for the first time, the team celebrated with a party in the hotel’s Gold Room.

After Brooklyn Heights declined, at least temporarily, during the 1960s and ’70s, the Jehovah’s Witnesses bought the hotel in 1988 and undertook an extensive renovation. The religious group used the building as a hotel for its adherents who were visiting the group’s world headquarters nearby.

The Witnesses, who were soon to depart the Heights for new headquarters in Warwick, N.Y., sold the building in 2012 to Joseph Chetrit of the Chetrit Group and David Bistricer of Clipper Equity, according to an Eagle article by Lore Croghan. In 2019, Chetrit bought out former partner Bistricer.

One of the glittering chandeliers in the Hotel Bossert’s lobby. Eagle file photo by Lore Croghan

The new owners soon undertook an extensive renovation of their own. In 2015, Croghan reported, “Light from elaborate chandeliers illuminates its beautiful coffered ceilings. A back wall is decorated with a mural showing the Brooklyn waterfront of yesteryear.”

Fen Hotels, an Argentinian company, was hired to operate the hotel. However, Fen backed out of the project, pushing the opening date ahead.

In 2019, Community Board 2’s Health, Environment and Social Services Committee recommended the approval of a liquor license application for the hotel, following a presentation by Aliya Huey, the general manager of the Tillary Hotel, the hotel’s then-manager. At the time, Huey said the hotel would have an official opening date in September, but it didn’t happen.

In 2021, according to published reports, the Bossert, apparently now managed by IHG, began to appear on hotel booking websites, according to published reports. A comment on Twitter by Top Hotel Projects read, “Hoteliers are looking forward to the launch of the Hotel Bossert in 2021,” but once again, it didn’t happen.

Wells Fargo Bank claimed, in the court filing, that it sent out several default notices to the hotel owners, published reports said.

A phone call to the Bossert’s published phone number directed the caller to several extensions, but a recording said that the person at each extension was “meeting with other clients.”


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