The Brooklyn Heights Promenade: A Monument to Civic Engagement

An informative and entertaining look at the history and future of the Brooklyn Heights Promenade by Spectrum News Staff Brooklyn.
This story is the fourth installment of NY1’s new initiative, “Street Level,” which explores the city through the history and culture of specific streets and the people who live there.

The New York City skyline as seen from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade is among the city’s most iconic views. The site may not be as well known as the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge or the Statue of Liberty, but standing on the Promenade, looking out over the water, you can see all three. For decades, the Promenade has been a fixture of Brooklyn Heights – both a rare strip of tranquility in the middle of the urban cacophony and a physical barrier separating a gentile neighborhood from the rush of the cars below. Read article/Watch Video:–a-monument-to-civic-engagement

Holy smokes: Developer reveals first look at swanky Brooklyn Heights senior housing

It’s heaven on earth!

Developers unveiled plans for a massive luxury senior housing complex inside an old Brooklyn Heights hotel formerly owned by the Jehovah’s Witnesses last week. 

The $330 million renovation of the former Leverich Towers Hotel on Clark Street, dubbed the “Watermark at Brooklyn Heights,” by Florida-based investment group Kayne Anderson Real Estate Advisors will offer opulent amenities for Kings County’s well-heeled oldsters near Willow Street when it opens in early 2020. 

The bigwig builders bought the 16-story building from the Jehovah’s Witnesses in 2017 for $200 million and partnered with Arizona-based company Watermark Retirement Communities to retrofit the building into a swanky retirement palace featuring 275 rental apartments spread across its 310,000 square feet.

Rentals start at $8,245 for a studio and go all the way up to a whopping $22,000 for a two-bedroom, according to the head of Watermark Retirement Communities, Andrea Ellen.

The building also boasts a rooftop terrace, along with theaters, dining venues, a pool, fitness center, spa, beauty salon, art studios, and a library spread across three floors. 

And that’s not all! The fancy retirement home will boast a private art gallery with rotating exhibits featuring local and emerging artists, mainly from Brooklyn, which will sometimes be open to the public during cultural and educational events, according to Ellen.

– Brooklyn Paper

CPN Board of Directors Election Results

Incumbents Eva Baide, Kristina Giacinto and Eugenia Montesinos were re-elected after the votes were all counted late last night under the supervision of CPN’s in-house attorney. Newly elected Board members Lawrence Kaplan and Dawn Marie Brekke with join them along with sitting Board members Henry Fleary, Keith Klein, Rene Lennon and Ted Valand. Shareholders are encouraged to attend the first meeting of the new term on Wednesday, November 6th at 7:30PM in the Community Room. -K. Klein

Bossert Blues

Like the refugees in Casablanca, those eagerly awaiting the re-opening of the Hotel Bossert must wait…and wait…and wait…

As Brooklyn Eagle reported last week, the scheduled soft opening last month didn’t happen (again). Reporter Lore Crohan couldn’t track down anyone willing to offer any explanations, trying to contact a variety of people associated with the Chetrit Group, which owns the property, to no avail: messages and phone calls yielded no response.

The Eagle story offers context of the building’s history and links galore to previous stories about the hotel’s redevelopment…none of which, sadly, offer much encouragement about what might happen next.

So, like those of us pining for the late, great Squibb Bridge…we wait.

As always, support local journalism and the people who did the work: click here for the full story.

Why the New Wegmans Is Absolutely Worth Freaking Out About

On October 27, Wegmans will open its first New York City location on Flushing Avenue in Brooklyn’s Admiral’s Row development. It’s not the only cult grocery store in the U.S., but its fans will tell you there’s something special about it. Maybe it’s the extensive cheese selection (the Brooklyn location will have 350 varieties); maybe it’s that it has “the look and feel of a European open-air market,” as the Wegmans website puts it. Or maybe it’s that consumerism is our most cherished pastime, a source of entertainment, delight, and self-identification that only becomes more beloved when its object is something as mundane as grocery shopping. 

Whatever it is, I count myself as a fan. In the grocery wars — as long as Wawa isn’t in play — I’ve taken the side of Wegmans. Read full story:

Maloney, Nadler, Velazquez to Introduce Legislation to Ban Non-Essential Helicopter Flights

Bill comes after years of flight accidents and noise pollution in NYC

Saturday, October 26th at 10 AM, Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), and Nydia Velazquez (NY-07), will join numerous local elected officials and community groups to announce the introduction of their Improving Helicopter Safety Act of 2019. The press conference will be held on the steps of City Hall.

Since 1982, there have been at least 30 helicopter crashes in New York City, causing at least 25 fatalities, according to National Transportation Safety Board records. The Improving Helicopter Safety Act of 2019 would drastically reduce helicopter traffic, improve safety, and cut down on noise by prohibiting non- essential helicopters from flying within New York City airspace.W

Storied Hotel Bossert misses reopening date, again

The reopening of Brooklyn Heights’ storied Hotel Bossert has been delayed once more. After being closed to the public for three decades under the ownership of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the century-old landmark was expected to have a September soft opening following years of closure for renovation, the Brooklyn Eaglepreviously reported.

But that didn’t happen. The lobby of the Waldorf-Astoria of Brooklyn, as it was nicknamed in its heyday, remains unfurnished. When the Eagle stopped by the property on Wednesday, a security guard stationed inside the front entrance said there was nobody onsite who could provide information about when the hotel will open.

The Renaissance Revival-style property at 98 Montague St., which has frontage on Hicks and Remsen streets, doesn’t yet have a promotional website or online reservations system. The 14-story Bossert belongs to the Chetrit Group, which is the majority owner of the Tillary Hotel in Downtown Brooklyn.

Aliya Huey, the Tillary’s general manager, is likely to be the Bossert’s general manager during the first couple months of its operations. She didn’t respond to multiple phone messages or emailed questions about the Bossert.

Chetrit Group principal Joseph Chetrit didn’t respond to a phone message or emailed questions.

500 Affordable Units Coming To Dumbo Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Space

DUMBO, BROOKLYN — One of the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ former Brooklyn buildings that was once slated to become a luxury hotel will instead bring more than 500 units of affordable housing to one of the city’s most expensive neighborhoods, should its application be approved, developers announced this week. 

Breaking Ground, the city’s largest supportive housing developer, said Tuesday that they have finally started the review process for a rezoning that would allow them to build 507 affordable apartments at 90 Sands St., which was once a hotel run by the religious group. 

It was first rumored that the 29-story building would be turned into affordable housing more than a year ago after developers who had hoped to turn it into a 600-room hotel scrapped those plans and sold the building to Breaking Ground.

Co-Op City Receives $621.5 Million Loan

Co-op City, home to 55,000 residents in the Bronx, will remain affordable for decades to come after the closing of a mammoth $621.5 million loan.

The Wells Fargo loan to RiverBay Corp., which controls Co-op City, is the largest ever insured under the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Sec. 223(f) program, which protects lenders against loss on mortgage defaults at multifamily properties.

It is also the first time the program has been applied to a cooperative development, according to officials.

The loan will be used to refinance the current debt on the state’s largest Mitchell-Lama project and keep the development affordable for another 35 years.