Brooklyn Heights

Will the Bossert be saved by hoteliers Schrager and Scheetz?

February 14, 2023 Daniel Cody
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BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — It was reported on Feb. 10 in the real estate journal Crain’s New York that the struggling Brooklyn Heights’ Bossert Hotel at 98 Montague St. is being “thrown a lifeline” by a fundraising initiative among prominent hoteliers.

Hotel and real estate businessmen Ian Schrager and Ed Scheetz will assume half ownership of the Bossert if their $26 million fundraising goal is reached, splitting ownership with Chetrit group, a large family-owned real estate firm. Chetrit Group’s equity interest in the hotel would be reduced from $80 million to $11 million if the Bossert Hotel is saved. Though, the hotel will not be managed by Scheetz or Schrager, according to Crain’s New York.

In the event the industry comrades are successful, the hotel will be rebranded as “Schrager’s Public Hotel,” according to the Commercial Observer, which did not provide a specific source, but cited an offering memorandum shared with the outlet.

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The Public Hotel brand is owned by Schrager, its magnum opus being “Public” on Christie Street. The brand has garnered much acclaim from various organizations, including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, The New Yorker, Architectural Digest, Forbes and a slew of other cultural outlets. According to the brand’s website, Public Hotel stresses high-quality and modern amenities with best-rate-guarantee prices, straddling luxury and affordability.

“Refined, sophisticated, smart and simple, yet flamboyant and provocative, all at the same time” says the group’s website.

“We’ve integrated seamless smart hotel technology so that everything you need is within arm’s reach and right at your fingertips.”

Schrager is renowned as a pioneering figure in the push for boutique hotels, his previous venture Morgans Hotel Group being the first initiative with emphasis on specifically boutique accommodations, according to Skift and Globetrender. Schrager’s business portfolio extends worldwide.The most recent Schrager-powered expansion being EDITION Hotels, a joint project with Marriott International. EDITION is the more upscale counterpart to Public Hotels.

The Bossert Hotel’s defaulted $112 million loan will be modified and extended by special servicer Trimont. It is the desire of Chetrit and Trimont to extend the defaulted loan for two more years and reassess when the hotel is in a better spot and capital is “more readily available,” according to Crain’s New York.

Last May, it was reported in the Brooklyn Eagle that the esteemed Bossert Hotel was facing foreclosure under Chetrit Group, with a “pre-foreclosure” notice filed against the buildings owners. The lawsuit was reportedly filed by a “securities lender,” CF Trust 2019-Boss. Other entities, such as Wells Fargo Bank and Cantor Commercial Lending, were also involved in the suit.

The Bossert Hotel was founded in 1909, and represents Brooklyn’s historical past. The building was previously owned by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, before the 2012 buyout to Chertrit and David Bistricer of Clipper Equity, according to previous reporting from the Brooklyn Eagle. In 2019, Chertrit bought out Bistricer.

The Bossert Hotel was home to lavish occasions and celebrity appearances. Notably, when the Brooklyn Dodgers won the World Series in 1955, the team stayed in the 282-key landmark. A rooftop dancing and dining club, called the Bossert Marine Roof, was decorated in a nautical theme and attracted celebrities and baseball stars during the years after WWII. Writer H.G. Wells, who lived for a time at the Margaret Hotel nearby, was a frequent patron.

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