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The 'Waldorf-Astoria of Brooklyn', Landmark Brooklyn Heights Building Bought By Reputed "Slumlord"


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Reputed slumlord taking over 'Waldorf-Astoria of Brooklyn'

By RICH CALDER

Last Updated: 6:08 PM, May 15, 2012

Posted: 6:08 PM, May 15, 2012

A reputed slumlord who is part of the development team getting slammed over conditions at the moldy, asbestos-laden Chelsea Hotel is taking over the former “Waldorf-Astoria of Brooklyn.”

Developer David Bistricer confirmed he’s bought the landmark Hotel Bossert on Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights from Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, the publishing arm of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and plans to turn it back into a 302-room hotel.

He declined to reveal the purchase price but said the building’s original façade would be preserved and that he plans to have it running as a hotel again by 2014, pending city approvals.

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

Bistricer is a principal in Clipper Equities, a junior partner in the Chelsea Hotel on West 23rd Street famous for musical and literary tenants like Bob Dylan and Janis Joplin.

Developer Joseph Chetrit is listed as the primary owner of the Chelsea Hotel, but Clipper Equities was also partner in the deal to purchase the site in 2011 for $80 million. With Bistricer staying behind the scenes, Chetrit has come under fire from tenants and politicians for allegedly turning the hotel into an unsafe dump to help drive out longtime tenants.

But Bistricer’s track record in Brooklyn is notorious. As owner of the 59-building Flatbush Gardens complex, he had more than 8,100 open violations in 2010 and even ranked among the city’s biggest slumlords that year, according to a list comprised by Public Advocate Bill De Blasio.

Bistricer’s shoddy upkeep of Flatbush Gardens and other properties was also a key reason why in 2007 then-Attorney General Andrew Cuomo fought to block a $1.3 billion bid by Clipper Equities to buy the nation’s biggest federally subsidized housing complex, Brooklyn’s Starrett City.

Bistricer declined to discuss his role at the Chelsea Hotel but said he got a bad rap for his work at Flatbush Gardens, adding he took it over when it “had 16,000 violations” and has managed to resolve most of them.

Judy Stanton, executive director of the Brooklyn Heights Association, said her group would take a “wait and see approach” on Bistricer until it has more information but said a hotel could improve the economy in the Montague Street shopping district.

Article Source: The New York Post


Landmark Brooklyn Heights Building Bought By "Slumlord"

Brooklyn Heights residents may be holding their breath: The Post reports that a developer whom the Public Advocate has called a "slumlord" has confirmed that he bought the Hotel Bossert, which is for Jehovah's Witnesses members, on Montague Street: "He declined to reveal the purchase price but said the building’s original façade would be preserved and that he plans to have it running as a hotel again by 2014, pending city approval."

Why worry? Well, the Post points out that Bistricer's company, Clipper Equities, is a junior partner in the Chelsea Hotel, where many tenants claim dangerous conditions and harsh tactics from landlord (and primary owner) Joseph Chetrit. Bistricer's attempt to buy Starett City was blocked by then-Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and HUD. And the Jehovah's Witnesses organization, The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, that owns the building has been known from its "impeccable" upkeep (PDF).

The Brooklyn Heights Association is taking a "wait and see approach." A public hearing is being held tonight.

Article Source: The Gothamist

2012_05_bossert.jpg

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Oh no! I'm sorry to hear this if it's true. We just stayed there in March and it's such a beautiful building in a really lovely neighborhood.

Don't be too upset . .think of it as snatching a prize from The Beast before it turns on BTG and grabs all the assets she has, to bolster the worlds dying economy. They don't know we (and our Bethels) are not part of BTG . . so they will strip away all valuables as 'She' goes down. It is good timing to downsize and consolidate properties and use the funds to do things that The Beast can't touch.

Revelation chapter 18. :popcorn:

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Oh dear. I feel sick that the beautiful Bossert will be in the hands of a slum lord. My son Joshua was living there for two years when he was at Bethel, and that place was so clean you could eat off the bathroom floors. I have awesome pictures of the view from the roof. :crying:

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Chins up people ! . . remember the Drama in 2010 where the Jews had to abandon their homes, wine cellars and fields as they fled out of Jerusalem? The wagon had been loaded with more than they should have carried . . and they looked back with regret . . see the link?

The Bossert was nice for its use . . in its time but getting sentimental will tie us down . . if the brothers have seen fit to sell up and move . .so be it. >:D<

Look around your house and think about what you are truly prepared to abandon . . you might have to decide that issue sooner than you think. :eek:

If a slum-lord gets headlines for the Bossert . .then neighbours will be thinking about Jehovahs people often and long soon because of this. They will see how good the Witnesses had been and the contrast of a worldly neighbour will sink in. (you don't know what you have lost 'til its gone.)

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You're right, of course. It's just a building and I don't think anyone is truly upset about it. It's more of just a "too bad" feeling. It reminds me of a couple local Kingdom Halls that have been sold when new halls were built. It's just kind of sad to see places that were once centers for true worship fall into disrepair.

If a slum-lord gets headlines for the Bossert . .then neighbours will be thinking about Jehovahs people often and long soon because of this. They will see how good the Witnesses had been and the contrast of a worldly neighbour will sink in. (you don't know what you have lost 'til its gone.)

This is an excellent point. I know the locals are probably eager to see the Witnesses buildings back on the tax rolls but I'm sure they'll soon realize the change that it brings to the neighborhood.

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You're right, of course. It's just a building and I don't think anyone is truly upset about it. It's more of just a "too bad" feeling. It reminds me of a couple local Kingdom Halls that have been sold when new halls were built. It's just kind of sad to see places that were once centers for true worship fall into disrepair.

If a slum-lord gets headlines for the Bossert . .then neighbours will be thinking about Jehovahs people often and long soon because of this. They will see how good the Witnesses had been and the contrast of a worldly neighbour will sink in. (you don't know what you have lost 'til its gone.)

This is an excellent point. I know the locals are probably eager to see the Witnesses buildings back on the tax rolls but I'm sure they'll soon realize the change that it brings to the neighborhood.

Slum lord. hmmmm. Wonder how long it will take for people to wish they had still had all the polite, neat, quiet "cult" members instead of the homeless drunks sleeping in their portico? We visited Bethel a few years ago, not long after one of the first buildings were sold. While the brothers owned it, of course it was kept up to our standards. Every week they scrubbed off graffit. The grounds were manicured, sidewalks were ice free, etc. Within weeks after it being sold, it had already started looking unkempt...and the neighbors were complaining.

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If the Governing Body sees fit to sell the building to the "slumlord" then so be it, its fine with me and a big CONGRATS to them for the deal. Jehovah doesn't place any sentimental value on man made concrete structures. It is its contents within the walls that is of value to Jehovah.

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If the Governing Body sees fit to sell the building to the "slumlord" then so be it, its fine with me and a big CONGRATS to them for the deal. Jehovah doesn't place any sentimental value on man made concrete structures. It is its contents within the walls that is of value to Jehovah.

I agree that it's the people within the structure and their activity and love of Jehovah that is the most valuable. And the proceeds from the sale will benefit the kingdom preaching work. However, I hate to see anything of beauty go into disrepair. But that's just a personal preference...I love old buildings and the beautiful craftsmanship that go into all the details. Modern buildings aren't nearly as interesting to me.

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Sister Lisa then prepare for a lot of heartbreak from architectural loss come Armageddon. LOL! Just kidding with you but true. Jehovah for all we know has planned to take that whole area down anyway soon. I'm sure that the reason for the move to a more rural place is so that Jehovah's center of direction and governing body could survive the DAY. Its exciting to be a witness to BIGTIME HISTORY. Praise Jah!

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Even our Kingdom Halls are not sacro-sanct.

They are NOT sacred . . .they are the place SACRED things happen . . but if we are not there . . they are a plain old building. Jehovah knows the difference.

Now we need to know that too.

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This reminds me of an illustration a brother recently used at out circuit assembly, When you buy a bottle of juice, what is it that you really want?? Is it the bottle or the Juice?? We drink up the juice and chuck the bottle away, so in a similar way, it can be said that Jehovah values the 'Secret person of the Heart' and not what we may seem to be on the outside..I don't even know if it contributes much to this discussion, but I reckon its kind of related to what the organisation is trying to prepare for, take care of the important work, even if its comes at a cost of a few beautiful buildings, and I'm sure they have Jehovahs blessings and you never know, in the new system we might even be seeing so many more buildings like these being rebuilt or restored (^_^)

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Sister Madelyn, I think that compared to the "mansions in heaven" man's architecture must seem primitive. Maybe, like how we view an ant farm. I liked the thought on your post for the topic of my meditation today how might Jehovah view me and the secret person in my heart? Thank you sis.

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