Landmark Bank Could Become Williamsburg’s Latest Luxury Hotel
Matt Chaban Dec. 1, 2010, 2:23 p.m.
It looks like Jed Walentas might be facing some competition on the Williamsburg luxury hotel scene. So far there have been few overnight options in the area, outside of the BQE’s Hotel Le Jolie and a new condo-hotel opening next year on Bedford Ave. Now comes the big news that one of the neighborhood’s iconic landmarks, the Williamsburgh Savings Bank on South 6th Street, has just been sold to a local hostelier.
Juan Figueroa paid $4.5 million for the 1875 bank building that was most recently an HSBC branch. Figueroa is better known for his $18-a-night New York Loft Hostel in Bushwick–very popular with the young foreign tourists–but Curbed seems to think something posher is in store. The Brooklyn Paper spoke with the broker for the deal, Massey Knakal’s Brendan Maddigan, and he predicts a restaurant or events space in the main domed building with an expansion on a smaller building and a neighboring parking lot. (Wonder what the folks next door at Diner and Marlow & Sons might think of that.)
The biggest challenge for any redevelopment remains the Landmarks Preservation Commission. The original bank builiding, designed by New York Stock Exchange architect George Post, is protected not only outside but also within, limiting construction options. One of the adjacent properties also has a landmarked exterior.
Not coming to the borough just yet? An Apple Store, which The Brooklyn Paper notes had been Borough President Marty Markowitz’ preferred choice to occupy the bank. Apparently they looked but took a pass.