Fuming 200 Hicks Street Residents Take Hotel Conversion Grievances To NY Daily News

The group of concerned residents who reside at 200 Hicks Street and voiced their concerns to BHB last Friday about the Bossert Hotel’s conversion back to a hotel have now shared their grievances with the New York Daily News. Brooklyn Heights rez Elizabeth Bailey and her comrades believe the plan before the Bureau of Standard and Appeals could create serious noise, traffic and safety issues in the area.

The Daily News, with typical bravado, writes: “A bar battle is brewing in Brooklyn Heights where residents are foaming mad over a developer’s plan to open a rooftop suds spot and restaurant at a historic hotel. Locals living near the Bossert Hotel at 98 Montague Street are afraid the bar and event space will lead to noisy crowds partying late into the night.”

Bailey, who has lived at 200 Hicks Street for 27 years, is quoted in the story, saying, “We want to work with the developers to make sure there are enforceable restrictions around noise.” She and the other unhappy residents “are pressing the city’s BSA to reject or greatly restrict the hotel’s application to change its zoning to allow the bar and restaurants, the News says. A hearing is scheduled September 11.

They have also employed the services of attorney Al Butzel, who met last month with representatives of the hotel’s developers, David Bistricer and Joseph Chetrit, to voice the group’s concerns, including traffic jamming the narrow one way street out front: “It’s a tiny little street taken over by Key Food trucks and kids walking with their parents. The developers have referred to the Carlyle as being their prototype but this is not Madison Avenue,” he says.

Kathleen Cudahy, a spokeswoman for the hotel’s new owners, says a “design consultant” is working to make sure “there’s no adverse impact due to any noise. This is not going to be a big destination place for large events such as wedding or a bar mitzvah.”

The developers bought the 14-story hotel for an estimated $90 million although the official price hasn’t been formally listed. They plan to expand the number of rooms from 224 to 302, with a $300 a night room rate, Bistricer said during a recent real estate luncheon. The hotel is slated to open in a year.

Read the Daily News story here. The New York Observer also writes about the Bossert conversion here.

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  • Mr. Crusty

    @ABC: “mr crusty, haven’t about 90% of things you listed happened? so, I wouldn’t worry too much about people complaining on this blog.”

    Those that object to something are always going to be the more vocal and get most of the attention. I think that can tend to skew the perception on how Brooklyn Heights as a whole can be perceived. A perfect example was the infamous hot dog vendor affair. BH got quite the reputation for being entitled, snobbish and obnoxious because of a few vocal critics of the hot dog stand posted on this blog while I would venture to say the vast overwhelming majority of Heights residents could have cared less.

    I am just voicing my opinion just like those that object to the Bossert Hotel’s conversion.

  • None

    200 Hicks has a good point and isn’t just advocating for themselves but for the nabe

    302 rooms = 604 people (double occupancy) is a lot of people coming in during the evening hours and going out in the morning ( and throughout the day, of course)

    But that means an awful lot of buses, shuttles, cabs, limos and pedestrians at the intersection of two small roads ( consider that a NYC bus has a capacity of 60 people)

    That means an awful lot of traffic – take note if you live at anywhere along Hicks, Remsen, Montague, Pierrepont, Henry, Clinton, Joralemon and even Atlantic – because traffic will increase by a lot to get 604 people in and out everyday

    If you eat at BH restaurants, you will have more company and longer lines, and Starbucks will love their new stream of customers, as will Key, and all the other stores that will benefit

    This all adds up to a lot of benefit for BH but we should all be thinking long and hard about what changes are happening now that will negatively affect us once the hotel starts welcoming guests because it will be much harder to change

    Loud music – that too. If done within the right parameters, we’ll have a great new addition to the street, but if left to outsiders / developers to decide, profits will drive, not us.

    I wouldn’t leave it to chance and neither will 200 Hicks, so get on board

    Btw, they may as well do weddings there, we already have the limos and photographers coming through non-stop

    And, what’s he hotel manager going to do – turn away weddings and bar mitzvahs? I doubt it, so don’t believe the false promises of today

  • Mr. Crusty

    @None: “But that means an awful lot of buses, shuttles, cabs, limos and pedestrians at the intersection of two small roads ( consider that a NYC bus has a capacity of 60 people)”

    Buses? People are going to be coming in buses to this small boutique hotel? Really? Even if that were the case how can you prevent a hotel from being a hotel? What is your solution? Prevent the hotel from operating? Limiting the number of guests the Hotel can have? Good Lord people, why don’t we just blockade the entrances into Brooklyn Heights and let no one in unless they can prove they are residents.

    Again, Montague is a commercial street. The Bossert is a hotel that has been there for over 100 years. It is not like some developer is trying to build a hotel where none existed and perhaps you would have a point in trying to prevent it but it is an existing hotel and if an owner can’t utilize it to its fullest to make a profit then no one will buy it. It will fall into disrepair and maybe the city will take it over and use it as a homeless shelter. Or perhaps it can be another St. George Hotel with all those students coming and going.

    And why should the hotel manager turn away weddings and bar mitzvahs? Are you people kidding me? Weddings and Bar Mitzvahs are now too troublesome for the residents of Brooklyn Heights. Who’s weddings and Bar Mitzvahs will they be hosting if not the residents of BH.

    Ahhhh.. the naysayers…. gotta love ’em

  • yoohoo

    Surprised that Al Butzel is lending his name to the 200 Hicks Street fight.

  • carol

    @Mr, Crusty
    Please familiarize yourself with the Zoning Resolution. If there is a new high rise going up next door to you, chances are it is “as of right” – meaning it is of a size and use that is allowed in the district.You don’t have any right to object.

    However, in the case of the Bossert, the hotel use is not “as of right” so the developer has to get a variance to operate a hotel in a residence district. That means that the residents of the residence district can testify before the BSA about this non-conforming use.

    I think, in the end, we are on the same side. But I support constraints on a non-conforming use so that it isn’t a nuisance to the residents of Brooklyn Heights – excessive noise at late hours, for example. Times changes and owners change – if BSA grants this variance – it is forever. A few limitations aren’t the end of the world and don’t mean that BH is against a hotel.

  • http://www.flashlightworthybooks.com Flashlight Worthy

    Wow. Quite the conversation going on here. A few thoughts:

    — The Witnesses have been operating the Bossert as a hotel for a few years now. You see people loading and unloading out of vehicles (mostly minivans) every day. In terns of traffic I think it would be educational for the residents of 200 Hicks to find out how many people are staying at the Bossert now, how long their stays are, how they typically arrive and depart for their stay, etc.

    — Somehow, and I suspect it’s the developers’ doing, this building been characterized as a “small boutique hotel”. I don’t know about you but I don’t think 300+ rooms is anywhere near the definition of “small” when it comes to a hotel in NYC. And the “boutique” in “boutique hotel” has nothing to do with its size — it implies a certain level of amenities. For a few points of comparison? The W Union Square is 270 rooms. The Empire Hotel? 422 rooms. The Plaza? Before it went condo — 282 rooms.

    — For those who say the building has always been a hotel — that nearby residents should have known better before buying… I find this to be a false argument. Despite its name, the building hasn’t been a proper hotel in decades. Saying that people should have expected it to become a hotel again because of its name is like saying people who live next to the Pfizer buildings shouldn’t be surprised if the Ex Lax building on Atlantic Avenue turns back into a factory or those who live across from the Police Headquarters on Centre street that went condos 20 years ago should expect it to become a Police Headquarters again with busloads of arrestees coming and going all night.

  • Neigh

    @Carol @Flashlight Worthy – agree completely

    the building may have been there for 100 years but the zoning and laws change over the years, so people’s expectations should also evolve – plus, who knows what kind of non-sense the selling broker filled them with.. but that’s for another post

    when the JoHo’s ran the place, there may have been in-and-out guests, but they arrive in neatly organized shuttle buses, load and unload quickly and orderly and disappear into their fairly private world

    I wouldn’t expect that from whatever mix of guests the new management draws in – more likely to be younger/richer/outgoing types, which will have a profound difference

    I support the change, but do think 200 Hicks is doing the right to challenge the BSA and make sure the right restrictions are put in place from Day 1 – much harder and costlier to change down the road

    And, traffic will be much different…

    It would be interesting to see it as a mixed condo/hotel – speaking of which, what happens to the rumored permanent residents still living there?

  • Bloomy

    I don’t have an issue with the hotel, and tend to agree with Mr. Crusty. The only issue I COULD see is a blaring loud rooftop bar, which I don’t even think is going to happen. The rest of the arguments don’t hold much water.

    Key Foods will have to deal with any issue concerning deliveries, no one else has to worry about that.

    @None – The Marriott downtown on Adams has 638 rooms and I never feel overwhelmed by the amount of people or taxis around the entrance.

    I think bringing people into the hood that will spend money is a really good thing that can benefit the whole area. Better restaurants and shops will just increase peoples property value. Just relax people, you should be thanking the developer for bringing this to your neighborhood.

  • None

    @bloomy Fair point on the Marriott and I support the hotel but do think there should be some tight rules to keep things pleasant

    Also, the Marriott is not at the intersection of two narrow and already congested streets – cars pull off Adams, into the hotel and back out onto Adams, which is a major thoroughfare

    I support the hotel but am concerned about cars, taxis, shuttles, vans and the like blocking traffic to load and unload – which equates to lots of blaring horns at any hour of the day or night

    Monty is already congested with double parked cars, and the sidewalks are blocked up by key food palettes and Bossert groups

    It would be great to have a good hotel that blends nicely into the neighborhood

  • She’s Crafty

    Am I the only one who thinks Elizabeth Bailey and PromGal might be one and the same?

  • Mr. Crusty

    Perhaps She’s Crafty, they share the same perspective.

  • David on Middagh

    I thought Prom Gal’s perspective extended over the river…

  • Wiley E.

    Fictitious Budgets are deceitful.
    Deceit creates universal mistrust.
    Mistrust causes total contempt.

    Deceitful, mistrustful, contemptuous attitudes shouldn’t be in positions of authority.

  • Mr. Crusty

    Does anybody have a clue as to what Wiley E is talking about?

  • Wiley E.

    I have to agree with the post made by Gardener on the Weekly Complaint posting. Crusty doesn’t warrant any other response beyond this one.

    Gardener August 15, 2012 at 11:38 pm #

    Every time I see a mr crusty post I think – “what a pompous blow hard know at all he must be” – I just can’t help it crusty

  • Mr. Crusty

    That’s what I thought, even Wiley E. doestn’t have a clue as to what he is talking about. Fictitious budgets? Lol.

  • Knight

    Wiley: If you’re going to comment on a post that Gardener made on a Weekly Complaint blog, maybe you should have made your comment there. I have to side with Crusty on this because I, too, have absolutely no idea what you’re ranting about.

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