'Waldorf-Astoria of Brooklyn' doesn't even have a hotel operator yet
By Lore Croghan
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
There will be no sunset partying this summer on the roof of the once and future Waldorf-Astoria of Brooklyn.
The re-opening of the Hotel Bossert — long likened to the Waldorf because the Brooklyn Heights hotel was a magnet for debutantes and posh people — has been delayed until 2015.
That's the word from the historic Montague Street inn's owner, David Bistricer — who is in the midst of renovating the century-old property as 280 rooms of luxury lodging with a rooftop restaurant.
A spokesman for Bistricer's family business, Clipper Equity, delivered the news in response to queries from the Brooklyn Eagle.
“Clipper Equity is excited to open a fully renovated and modernized world-class hotel in Brooklyn Heights by early next year,” the spokesman said in a written statement.
Last year, the developer said the hotel would be open by now. In May 2013, a spokeswoman for Bistricer told the Eagle that the hotel was projected to re-open in approximately 12 months.
Merchants who are hoping the hotel's re-opening will bump up the number of well-heeled shoppers on landmarked Montague Street are sure to be disappointed.
The Bossert — where the Brooklyn Dodgers celebrated their 1955 World Series victory over the New York Yankees — changed hands in 2012.
Bistricer bought the Renaissance Revival-style property with developer Joseph Chetrit for $81 million from the Jehovah's Witnesses, who had used it to house members of their flock, for free, during Big Apple visits.
News of the pushed-back opening date came after an architect involved in the renovation of the 98 Montague St. property revealed that Bistricer doesn't yet have a hotel operator on board.
Columb Mahoney of Woods Bagot let that cat out of the bag during a city Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing Tuesday.
After the hearing, Mahoney told the Eagle he doesn't know who his clients have in mind for the hotel operator job.
“I believe they've got a short list,” he said.
Mahoney appeared before the preservation commission to deal with a hotel-restoration detail — namely, what to do about the awning outside the front entrance.
The commissioners voted yes on the architect's plan to replace the red cloth canopy that's currently in place with a new version made of black steel with a glass top — a “more permanent” canopy, Mahoney said during the hearing.
It will be emblazoned with logos made of the initials HB. A similar logo can be found on an ornamental railing in the hotel lobby, he said.