SOLD! Historic Bossert: Plan In Place To Convert Back To Hotel

After revealing last week that Brooklyn Heights’ historic Bossert Hotel was returning to its roots as a hotel, Brownstoner reports today that city filings offer a confirmed buyer for the Jehovah’s Witnesses property.

David Bistricer has plans to turn the structure into a 302-unit “Hotels, Dormitories,” in DOB-speak. Meanwhile, according to the filings, the architect of record on the job is Gene Kaufman, who has been in the news lately for his plans to renovate the Hotel Chelsea in Manhattan, a landmark in its own right.

Bistricer had this to say to us about the plans for the Bossert: “The facade is not going to be touched because it’s in impeccable condition. The present owners kept it in very good shape. The plans have not been finalized for the interior of the building but we are going to upgrade the plumbing and electrical.”

Well, now we know who some of the players are for a building that qualifies as a national treasure, since it is public record. What is not yet public record is how much the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ are in contract to sell the structure for, though some real estate insiders we have spoken to opine that it could be close to the $90 million price that the property almost sold for back in 2008.

(Photo: Brownstoner)

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  • Alec

    roof deck bar?

  • DrewB

    Yes Alec! Now you’re talking!

  • Slide

    Won’t that be nice to have a drink on the roof looking at the NY skyline. One can only hope.

  • Nick BC

    Let’s hope that it will become a hotel and not more college dormitories. The Heights really needs a good hotel–and reopening the old Marine Deck rooftop bar would be spectacular. If done right, the new hotel can invigorate all the businesses along Montague. Great news!

  • Villager

    Yeah, the rebuilt St. George on Clark St. was touted to become a boutique hotel. Of course, that was BS as the new structure is and always has been 100% dorms.

    Is this the same David Bistricer?
    “David Bistricer, a Brooklyn landlord highly ranked on Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s slumlord watchlist”

    Lovely… even if he was just lowly ranked on the watchlist, but I suppose it’s an accomplishment to make it high on the list.

  • David on Middagh

    Villager, your link doesn’t work, but I think this is what you meant to post:

    Let’s hope the new owner keeps the building in as nice shape as the Witnesses did.

  • resident

    Thankfully, the developer/architect combo won’t be able to touch the exterior, and even they aren’t foolish enough to mess with the lobby. If it’s a hotel, I don’t really care what they do to the interiors on the residential floors. I’ll focus on the positive: hotel customers that might actually spend decent money in the shops and restaurants around Montague Street. The bigger and more diverse the customer base on Montague, the more likely we are to have palatable options for dinner.

  • epc

    Has the lobby been landmarked (like the AT&T building on Broadway around John St, Manhattan)?

  • Robert Swartz

    Fingers crossed. Agree the Bossert should be a hotel, not a dorm – it’s a needed amenity for the neighborhood.

    I don’t know if the lobby is protected – few interiors are – but I doubt they’d make major alterations. I would vote for a more muted paint scheme, however.

  • Jesse

    I love that the Bossert is going to become a hotel, don’t get me wrong…however I can’t believe GENE KAUFMAN will be the architect for this project. This is horrible news. Gene is responsible for every horrible hotel in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The likes of Holiday Inn’s and those horrible buildings along McCarren Park in Williamsburg. He will ruin this beautiful building. The Bossert deserves a state of the art developer who will preserve the interior and bring this beauty back to life. Think The Pierre on 5th ave. not the Holiday Inn Express. I’m afraid Gene Kaufman’s portfolio includes the latter :( Imagine if the same developer who did the Bowery Hotel or the new Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg had their hands on this. It would be incredible. Rooftop terrace and bar that would be world class. The finest restaurant. A lobby cafe with incredible coffee, tea and communal space. The good news, we’re getting a brick oven pizza place across the street! Let’s hope Gene does’t ruin what could be an amazing opportunity.

  • michael

    Mr. Bistricer has quite a history. This, from a NY Times article about Bistricer’s (rejected) bid for Starrett City:

    “In 2007, Mr. Bistricer and other principals made a $1.3 billion bid to buy Starrett City in Brooklyn, the country’s largest federally subsidized housing complex. The offer drew fierce opposition from the state Attorney General at the time, Andrew M. Cuomo. He called Mr. Bistricer’s legal history ”sordid” and said he had a ”long and troubled history of tenant abuse.” Senator Charles E. Schumer, who also opposed the bid, said he feared the buyers would evict low- and middle-income tenants. The federal department of Housing and Urban Development ultimately blocked the sale.:

  • mark

    …a well run hotel would be welcome at the Bossert, but if this is the same person/group responsible for all of the terrible news coming out of the Hotel Chelsea this is sad news indeed.

  • Arch Stanton

    “Charles E. Schumer, who also opposed the bid, said he feared the buyers would evict low- and middle-income tenants” Ha, Schumer is such an idiot, who the hell else would live out there. What did he think, they’d turn Starrett City into luxury condos?

  • Sal Manilla

    They should re-open it as the Golden Gate Inn. That place was great.

  • Villager

    sorry for the bad link, but what you posted was what I intended… an easy google search to find this guy.
    I sure hope Gene Kaufman is of no relation to Dan Kaufman or we’re in for a real show.

  • mbutz

    I am not sure what this means. Dorms??? Are they crazy? Or a genuine hotel. If Danny Meyer took over the restaurant he’d make a fortune and we certainly could use a really high end hotel in Brooklyn.

  • lori

    The few remaining tenants of the Bossert were given a letter telling them about a meeting being held by Community Board 2 about whether or not to allow converting the building back to “transient” residence. The letter was really meant for “owners” of property within 400 feet of the hotel. There are only about four residents left in the Bossert. Their main concern would be with the new owners as to whether or not they could remain at the hotel under their present arrangement.

  • Matthew Parker

    The Post has an article about the “reputed slumlord” taking over the Bossert:

  • Sheila

    Hope that the new owners read nyTimes wed.may 16/12 re the roof top restaurant/ bars opening in n.y.c.! People love them. The Bossert roof would be perfect.

  • nabeguy

    From Gothamist today
    Sounds like we may soon be seeing a revival of Club Wildfyre.