The Bossert effect: Readers seek room reservations from us

HIGH SOCIETY: Throwback chandeliers and ornate details shine on the ceiling of the Bossert Hotel’s lobby.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

We are not looking for that kind of tip.

No one has been able to book a room at the Bossert Hotel in Brooklyn Heights since the late 1980s, and the developer who is renovating it hasn’t said much about the project beyond stating that it will open next year, but people are itching to get in — so badly that they are calling and e-mailing The Brooklyn Paper asking how to book a room. The new owner, who bought the landmark Montague Street guesthouse in 2012, isn’t surprised the public is beating down the doors.

“It’s not surprising there is already a high level of interest in the new Bossert Hotel,” said Evan Thies, a spokesman for developer Clipper Equity. “The hotel has a great history and location — and now that it will realize it’s full potential with a meticulous, modern update, it will be a truly exceptional venue for events and home to guests for years to come.”

The messages started in March, shortly after this reporter got a peek at the renovation in progress at the hotel that was once Brooklyn’s Waldorf Astoria, hosting the Dodgers’ 1955 World Series party.

One woman wanted to book a room for the Fourth of July, to catch the return of the Macy’s fireworks to the East River a short walk away. Another wanted to know where she could apply to be manager. A third, from Brooklyn Heights, wanted to book her wedding there.

“The building is such a mystery for those of us who live in the neighborhood,” said the bride-to-be, who asked not to be named. “We have walked past it for years and only imagined what the beautiful and historic exterior holds. I love the idea of it holding such rich Brooklyn history — think of the stories its walls could tell.”

Yours truly had little to tell them because a hotel operator has not even been selected yet. The one fact on the table about the reopening is the owners’ assurance that the Bossert will open soon.

“Chetrit Group and Clipper Equity are excited to open a fully renovated and modernized world-class hotel in Brooklyn Heights by early next year,” Thies said.

Real estate tycoon David Bistricer’s Clipper Equity, along with the Chetrit Group, bought the Bossert for $81 million from the Jehovah’s Witnesses as the religious organization moved its headquarters upstate. The religious group had since the late 1980s used the building to house visiting followers and workers at its Dumbo offices. The devotees seriously spruced up the exterior of the building and the main hall inside, and did some work on the 280 guest rooms, according to the Jehova’s Witnesses’ website. The project won an award for preservation from the New York Landmark Conservancy in 1992.

There was work left to be done, according to Clipper Equity.

“Perfection takes time,” Thies said.

Reach reporter Matthew Perlman at (718) 260-8310. E-mail him at mperlman@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @matthewjperlman.
Meet the new Bossert: The Bossert Hotel is on its way to livening up Montague Street once more.

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