More information sought on developer’s ability, experience in managing hotels
By Linda Collins
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — Community Board 2’s Land Use Committee made no decision on the Bossert Hotel’s return to commercial use at its meeting last week and tabled any further discussion for a future meeting, according to Rob Perris, CB 2 district manager.
The committee requires additional information.
“A key question was who would manage it,” said Perris.
David Bistricer, principal of Clipper Equity, who, as the Eagle has reported, is purchasing the property from the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society, went to the podium and told Land Use Committee members he would not contract out for the hotel’s management but would manage it himself.
He did not adequately respond to additional questions about his firm’s experience in managing hotels, according to Perris.
Perris said he will now draft a letter asking for more concrete answers.
Also at the committee’s May 16 meeting, a number of people who live near the hotel came to express their concerns about traffic, according to Perris.
The earliest the committee could consider further discussion would be at its meeting on Wednesday, June 20, Perris said, depending on the timely receipt of the additional information.
As the Eagle has also reported, Bistricer, operating here as Bossert LLC, is proceeding with an application for a variance with the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) to allow the Bossert to be reconverted to its original transient hotel use.
The Montague Street Business Improvement District (BID) has sent a letter in support of the variance that would allow the landmarked building’s return to a transient hotel, according to Brigit Pinnell, the BID’s executive director.
Although its assessment would not bring in additional income to the BID, whose budget is set by the City Council, it would impact other BID members whose assessments would change, according to Pinnell.
“If it becomes a commercial property it will go on the assessment roll because it is within the Montague Street BID area, but it will not bring more money to the BID,” she said.
All property owners and business owners on the retail street are assessed based on a formula set by the council, a formula based on amount of frontage and other factors, Pinnell explained.
In a followup contact yesterday with David Semonian, a spokesperson for the Watchtower’s office of public information, he told the Eagle, “We can now confirm that Watchtower is in contract with Bossert LLC for the sale of the Bossert.”