Brooklyn' Brossert Hotel could become hotel again

New York Post/May 8, 2012

The former "Waldorf Astoria of Brooklyn" could soon be making a comeback as a hotel.

Following a failed attempt in 2008 to bring student housing to the former Hotel Bossert in Brooklyn Heights, the Jehovah's Witnesses are now seeking a city zoning change to allow their prime real estate at 98 Montague Street to be used once again as a transient hotel.

Most of the 224 rooms at the former hotel – where the Dodgers celebrated their only World Series title in Brooklyn before heading west – are currently used as residences for Witness volunteers.

The building has long been up for sale by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, the publishing arm of the Jehovah's Witnesses, as part of the Witnesses' ongoing effort to move its operations upstate to Wallkill.

The Witnesses declined comment, but sources said several hotel developers have expressed interest in buying the site and that they doubted the Witnesses are looking to go into the hotel business.

"A hotel could be very beneficial for the area, but a lot is going to depend on all the details," said Brigit Pinnell, executive director of the Montague Street Business Improvement District.

Judy Stanton, executive director of the Brooklyn Heights Association, said a hotel "could improve the economy" in the Montague Street shopping district.

The religious group's proposal will be decided by the Board of Standard and Appeal, but Community Board 2 is hosting a public hearing on it May 16 at 5 Metrotech Center.

The news that the Witnesses were seeking city approval for a hotel to return at the site was reported first by real estate blog Brownstoner.

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