Bossert Sale Falls Through

Brownstoner reports that the Watchtower Tract and Bible Society’s deal with developer Robert Levine to buy the historic Bossert Hotel has fallen through.  Levine’s RAL Companies had agreed to buy 98 Montague Street $92 million in May. It was reported that the group planned to flip the hotel to student housing.  Brownstoner suggests the deal may be off due to slow sales at One Brooklyn Bridge Park,  Levine’s other Brooklyn Heights property, and a desire to minimize the company’s risk in the neighborhood.

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  • Peter

    Is it wrong for me to say I’m glad?

    I really wasn’t relishing the prospect of walking through a crowd of students smoking on the Hicks side of the building every time I headed to Montague Street. And it’s not like the building will go derelict while waiting for a buyer — the Witnesses take excellent care of their properties.

    Maybe this building would be better suited to being an actual hotel?

    Recommending books so good, they’ll take your mind off the ins and outs of Brooklyn real estate. ;)

  • stefan

    An actual hotel? Who are you? Dorothy in the land of Oz?
    What would a modern hotel be doing on Montague Street?
    No parking, no cabs, no luxe.
    This will be a dormitory, NYU will buy it. If we’re lucky, they will rent out the upper floors to an independent restaurant.
    I’m holding out for that. Brooklyn Heights is out of the way and yet parking is harder here than in Midtown. This is Bohemia-ville. Eccentric NY-burg. Americans find it baffling and I can’t blame them. In big cities you can get a cab or walk a short distance where you wish to go. In Brooklyn Heights, it is like you are on your own. Either you have an SUV parked in the Cadman Plaza highrise garages or you’re up the creek. Have you tried taking the subways on the weekends lately? Good luck with that!

  • AEB

    Thank you, Jesus!

    Why not a luxe apartment conversion? BH is hardly bohemian; the building would attract the well-heeled who work in Manhattan, like so many of us, and for whom there is very efficient pubic transportation.

    As for getting around IN BH–it’s a small slice of world, easy to traverse, end-to-end, on foot. Nearby nabes are eaqually acessible.

  • my2cents

    Don’t you mean “thank you jehova”? AEB, you want it converted to luxe apartments like the place at Clinton and Montague? Weren’t you the one decrying the “desecration” of this great edifice a few months ago? But we can bury the hatchet now because I too am relieved. Let’s hope it finds a proper use.

  • stefan

    I just want to move somewhere that I am not at the mercy of the NYC TA. I have worked hard all my life, I have saved my money, I don’t think it is so outlandish to think that if I want to go somewhere on the weekends outside the parameters of NYC subway or bus routes, that it should be out of the question. Brooklyn Heights is so crowded. There are so many huge buildings with do many apartments here. Even on Montague Street there are highrises that were built a hundred years ago. This is a very dense, very crowded, downtown neighborhood unlike the rowhouse neighborhoods of Cobble Hill or Park Slope or Carroll Gardens. This is like Greenwich Village and yet without the city amenities. I am so over Brooklyn Heights. Sorry, I don’t meant to vent but this neighborhood is wqy over-hyped. Unless you are a mega-millionaire this neib sucks.

  • Beavis

    See ya.

  • Jazz

    @stefan – poor you.

  • my2cents

    Stefan, I don’t mean to be a hater, but I think maybe you should get a zipcar membership and quit your grousing. If you are determined to have a car, then you probably should move. I realized a while back that having a car in Brooklyn Heights is only for 2 types of people: those with garages, and masochists. Such is life here. You can at least appreciate the carbon your not putting into the atmosphere though.

  • AEB

    My2, I think that the Bossert would, given the inevitable need to make real-estate pay…and pay…be better/best served by a luxe conversation than by turning it into a dorm, which invites warren-ization, not to mention transient student neglect.

    Besides, what are the alternatives?

  • my2cents

    I see your point. But as a hotel, it is already “warren-ized.” You’d have to gut the whole place to make it into apartments. So it’s a catch 22. we can either destroy the building to save it, or leave it original and have it destroyed by “kids.” Maybe they should just sell it to the Mormons or the Scientologists and call it a day.

  • AEB

    Actually, my2, I think they should give the building to me–or to you, if you like.

    First, I’d add a miniature golf course. Roller-rink to follow. The rest would be a multi-story garage (with very little ventilation).

    What do you think?

    Oh–I’d also change the name, to The Ricky.

    Sound good?

  • my2cents

    You hit the nail on the head AEB! A parking garage! That’s an amenity we all need. Right, Stefan? Here is an artist’s conception of what that might look like:

  • GHB

    Stefan, you’re a tool! BH is a great neighborhood, convenient and NOT overly crowded. You think BH is a “very dense, very crowded, downtown neighborhood unlike the rowhouse neighborhoods of Cobble Hill or Park Slope or Carroll Gardens”? You want dense? Look in the mirror! If you don’t like the lack of cabs or exciting nightlife, don’t live here.

  • AliG

    Would be nice if the Bossert became half condo-conversion and half hotel like El-Ad did with The Plaza. Something for everyone.

  • AEB

    My2, your photo PERFECTLY captures the idea. Only thing needed is a throne (or two) for the attendant….

  • yo

    i just want the rooftop bar to re-open.

  • ABC

    Considering nobody is financing anything over 50 mil these days (at per the REIT-world gossip), I don’t see how this goes to anyone other than a major school — probably NYU — who can self-finance.

    Our only hope is that nobody buys it for a couple of years, credit normalizes, and we get a condo with an open-to-the-public lobby bar and rooftop grill.

    Or, cobble 90 of your closest friends together and each chip in a million cash. And then more for renovation.

  • Berkeley

    I think Spicy Pickle should take over the whole operation.

  • Berkeley

    Oh, and Stefan, you’re a douchebag.

  • my2cents

    Maybe Thor Equities can buy it and relocate the cyclone on top?

  • nabeguy

    Gee, you think Stefan has started packing his bags yet? Good to see some home-grown Heights chauvinism on display. As for the Bossert, I think we can rule out a luxury hotel idea. The “build-it-and-and-the-taxis-will-come” theory doesn’t apply anymore with the collapse of the Street. Yes, it might get by on foreign tourism, but the nabe tends to get the “tour bus” crowd and we all know how those are welcomed by the populace.

  • yo

    i don’t understand all the taxi comments…getting a taxi in brooklyn heights is, IMHO, a hundred times easier than anywhere else in the city. There are lines of them coming up Clinton st. at all hours of the day and night….

  • AEB

    Ah, yes, yo. But first one must get to Clinton St.

    Not a HUGE walk from where I live in the north Heights, but, if the weather isn’t great…..

    Sort of like cleaning the house before the maid arrives. If that makes any sense.

  • Nancy

    10-1 Brooklyn Law School buys it and makes it an outpost. It’s the NYU of Brooklyn Heights after all. Yeesh

  • my2cents

    Yeah, I agree with YO. Clinton street is like the taxi Shangri-La. You can walk over there any time of day or night and hail a cab with ease.

  • garrett

    It’s a LOT easier to flag a cab in BH. I don’t even see a single yellow cab in Flatbush, where I work.

  • clarker

    There’s plenty of taxis on Hicks.

  • Andrew

    Since DOT changed the Tillary St. approach to the Brooklyn Bridge, more cabs have been coming north on Hicks St, so that it’s often possible to find a cab on Hicks St. not much more challenging than Clinton.

  • nabeguy

    So let me ask a cab question, as I’m more an MTA’er than TLC’er. Is it as difficult to get one to take you to Brookyln as it used to be? Judging from these posts, I’m presuming the answer is no, or how else explain all these cabs going back to “the city”? I know a lot of fleets are based out of Brooklyn, but that would only account for a morning surplus, not the bounty mentioned here. From the sound of things, Clinton Street has more cabs than LaGuardia.

  • clarker

    I’m sure it depends partly where you want to go, but yeah, I do think it’s easier now than it was 7 or 8 years ago.