Ten-penny savior: LPC landmarks W’burg Dime Savings Bank amid owners’ planned makeover

Going up: A Queens-based developer is erecting a new 23-story tower behind the newly landmarked Dime Savings Bank in Williamsburg.
Charney Construction and Development

This bank can no longer receive change!

The columned Dime Savings Bank at the Brooklyn foot of the Williamsburg Bridge is a new city landmark, members of the Landmarks Preservation Commission recently declared.

The old financial institution’s March 27 designation as an individual landmark — meaning agency approval is now required for most renovations to the building — came amid a planned makeover of the site by the developers that bought it along with other nearby properties from former owner Dime Community Bank in 2016 and 2017.

The builders — who advocated for the designation during the commission’s public-review process, according to an agency rep — will transform the onetime Havemeyer Street money lender into a new retail hub next door to a 23-story tower they’re erecting nearby on S. Fifth Street, paying homage to the early 20th-century bank’s commercial roots, according to one man involved in the project.

“This is a fitting tribute to the building’s architecture and its long history as a pillar of the historic financial center that was South Williamsburg,” said Sam Charney, a bigwig at Queens-based firm Charney Construction and Development, which spearheading the scheme along with Tavros Capital Partners.

Changes to the 1908 building as part of its transformation will include replacing its current Indiana-limestone facade with a clad-and-white terra cotta, which will not compromise its historic-architectural character or neo-Classical style, according to the commission.

And its neighboring high-rise — which Charney said may connect to the renovated bank — will contain 178 apartments, roughly 50 of which will be below-market-rate, in addition to office space, exercise facilities, a reading room and library, bike storage, a healthcare center, and 300 parking spots within its lowest two underground floors, city records show.

The developers are halfway through laying the foundation for the tower, and expect to finish constructing the whole project, called “the Dime,” next spring — around the same time city transportation officials will commence their 15-month shutdown of the L train’s Brooklyn-to-Manhattan tube for repairs.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.

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