Collapse of Hotel Bossert project casts a cloud over once-bustling Montague Street’s rebound


105 Montague St.

This 8-story, Queen Anne-style, brick-and-granite building, a co-op, has 25 one- and two-bedroom apartments. Completed in 1885, when Brooklyn Heights was fashionable among the Wall Street crowd, the building was in decline by the mid-20th century, just like Hotel Bossert. In 1971 No. 105 became a welfare hotel called the Brookmont, according to The New York Times, though in 1981 it bounced back and went co-op. According to StreetEasy, a two-bedroom with an angled ceiling (unusually, the building’s roof is peaked), No. 803, was listed in September for $1.1 million, though that was a reduction from March 2021, when the unit was nearly $1.3 million.

125 Montague St.

Among the retail casualties of the pandemic is the Ann Taylor Loft store on the ground floor of this 2-story retail building; a “for rent” sign is in the window. Upstairs is a branch of New York Kids Club, a preschool playgroup. The 19,000-square-foot corner building appears to be owned by an entity tied to Midwood Investment and Development, a three-generation family-run firm that has a variety of national holdings. Locally it owns 800 Union St. in Park Slope, a 28-unit apartment converted from a parking garage. The firm, which was founded in Midwood, Brooklyn, appears to have owned No. 125 for decades.

98 Montague St.

Hotel Bossert, a 12-story, 182,200-square-foot structure that opened in 1912, part of New York’s oldest landmark district, was supposed to get a top-to-bottom makeover by a partnership between the Chetrit Organization and Clipper Equities, which bought it in 2012 for $81 million. But despite nearly $200 million in financing, the often-delayed project never crossed the finish line. And on Nov. 9, it will head to the courthouse steps for a foreclosure auction because the developers haven’t made a loan payment since summer 2020. The exact reasons for the collapse are unclear, though rent-regulated tenants continue to live in the building, and the developers would have had to build around them. The Jehovah’s Witnesses organization, which once controlled $1 billion in buildings in Brooklyn Heights, owned the Bossert from 1983 to 2012. Way earlier, the Brooklyn Dodgers threw their 1955 World Series victory party upstairs.

124 Montague St.

This 2-story, yellow-brick commercial building has seen some tenants turn over and others stay. A Corcoran Group real estate office that had been on the second floor closed during the pandemic; a Compass outpost replaced it. The ground floor has a Kiehl’s skin care shop; in 2014 it was the first store from the East Village chain to open in Brooklyn. The owners of the 4,500-square-foot building appear to have once included Glenn Markman, according to a deed from 2006, which shows it was purchased for $1.4 million. Markman, who also worked as a Cushman and Wakefield broker, died from cancer in 2014 at age 52, though the building’s ownership does not seem to have changed.

112 Montague St.

Vacancies are numerous on the street, some of which predate Covid, like at this 2-story 1950s building. A Starbucks coffee shop once brewed java there. But in 2012 a leaky roof forced it to relocate down the street to No. 134, a berth previously occupied by a Nine West shoe store, reports say. No. 112 has been empty ever since, despite “for lease” signs taped to its windows. Tax records show the owner of the 3,750-square-foot structure to be Newark-based Patricia Holding Corp., which seems to have been around since the 1930s. The current annual tax bill for the empty and residentially-zoned building is $53,000, though the property has declined in value, according to the city: It was worth $2.9 million in 2020 but is worth $2.2 million today.

122 Montague St.

In 2016 this plain-fronted, 5-story building was sold by G.M. Realty Holding Co. to JSRE Acquisitions for $7.6 million. JSRE is the real estate investing arm of the Safras, the global banking family. It has three apartments and a pair of retail berths, one of which hosts an arm of the Leslie J. Garfield brokerage. The other space housed a location of the Housing Works high-end thrift store chain before it closed in 2017, after a 10-year run. Soon after, the Safras picked up the site. That storefront, which totals 3,400 square feet across two levels, is being shopped around.

118 Montague St.

Montague is not known for its restaurants, as nearby Court and Smith streets are. The proper venting of 19th-century buildings is a hurdle, brokers say. But eateries do turn up, like at this 5-story, Italianate brownstone. It’s home to Saketumi Asian Bistro, which replaced the earlier Tenda. Taco eatery Tacomadre called the place home in the mid-1990s. The landlord of the building is Foxboro Real Estate, which has owned it since 1976. The sale price is not clear from the old deed. But in 1944 it changed hands for cash and a $24,000 mortgage, according to news reports. At that time it contained offices. Today the desks have given way to apartments—13 of them. A studio leased in July; it was last listed at $1,895 a month.

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