Eye On Real Estate
By Lore Croghan
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The other Williamsburgh Savings Bank – the one with two domes rather than the tower crowned with four clock faces – started operating as an events venue called Weylin B. Seymour's.
The venue at landmarked 175 Broadway in Williamsburg drew neighbors' opposition to its liquor license application – including hundreds of petition signers – because of fears it would snarl traffic. In December, Community Board 1 refused to support the license application.
While general manager Carlos Perez San Martin sorted out a response to their objections, WBS was able to host a wedding with 200 guests in January because the catering company that worked the event has its own liquor license. The venue is getting bookings, though its website is under construction.
To address the traffic issue, he has lined up valet parking with 120 parking spaces at a lot three blocks away from the stunningly restored property, which was designed by eminent 19th century architect George Post. WBS also has parking for 60 cars under the Williamsburg Bridge.
He expects to submit the license application to the State Liquor Authority in March.
The three-year-renovation led by preservation consultant David Scott Parker cost $20 million, Perez San Martin said. There were 17 levels of scaffolding and 150 people at a time cleaning the walls and stripping paint, and workshops inside the building for carpentry and patina finish for brass hardware.
The property belongs to his cousin, real estate investor Juan Figueroa – who has filed plans with the city Buildings Department to construct a 36-story hotel at the lot next door, 159 Broadway.
By the way, Weylin B. Seymour was a 19th Century Williamsburg socialite who was quite the party host – and matchmaker.
It will take another year to get financing for the hotel and develop design drawings.
“First, we are focused on financially stabilizing the events space. It's a big undertaking,” Perez San Martin said.