By Dennis Holt
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
BROOKLYN — Like other publications, the New York Observer reported this week on the plans to build a 170- to 225-room hotel at Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park. This salmon-colored weekly newspaper has paid a lot of attention to developments in Brooklyn.
The reason for the report was the park’s recent narrowing down the bidding from the original seven to three, with the promise that a winner will be announced in a few weeks. This report appeared in a section called The Transom, as in “heard over the transom,” so it tends to be a bit gossipy.
For the first time we read about the thinking in some circles that a hotel on that spot may not be such a hot idea. One observer is quoted as saying:
“It’s a great view, sure. But it’s far from mass transit; it’s far from a lot of activity, you’re basically between the BQE and the park, and that’s about it. There’s DUMBO, but DUMBO isn’t exactly jumping after dark.”
A counterpoint to that argument was made by Roland Demilleret, a hotel consultant: “It wouldn’t be a prime location, but it is a good location. The only problem I see for the site is it’s far from the business districts. It won’t draw the commercial client, but the leisure client will still come.”
It should be noted that the idea for a hotel in the park was not to attract business people, but to appeal to the tourist trade. As Brooklyn continues to improve and expand its tourist attractions, the idea of staying in a different kind of hotel in Brooklyn has appeal.
It is sort of a moot point anyway. The official plan for the park has provisions for a hotel, and to drop the hotel project would force an official review in Albany. No one wants to go back down that road again. Too many anti-park people are still hanging around in the community, and they could drag out the proceedings indefinitely if issues are reopened.
I think a defensible bottom line is that a quality hotel there will be good for Brooklyn and good for the park.