After spending the past three years meticulously renovating the historic Williamsburg Savings Bank building, developer Juan Figueroa is reportedly moving forward with plans to build a 40-story "boutique hotel" on the adjacent lot. "It's going to be the hottest hotel in Brooklyn — no question in my mind," CBRE director Edward Eschmann told The Real Deal.
Well, "hottest" is hard to quantify (and arguably pretty hard to predict ahead of time), but it'll at the very least be one of the biggest. Compared to, say, the Wythe hotel's limited 72 room capacity, a 40-story, 250-room building attached to a landmark and large-scale event space looms pretty large.
Meaning, if one had to speculate, that between its size and proximity to both the Williamsburg Bridge and Peter Luger Steakhouse, Figueroa's project is poised to become the more grown-up, accessible, tourist-friendly answer to hipper alternatives in the neighborhood. Exactly the kind of place, say, your parents wouldn't get too fussy about when they come to visit.
But, again, this is all purely speculative. Figueroa reportedly hasn't locked down financing for the project yet, and regardless, it won't be opening up until 2015 at the earliest. In the meantime, Figueroa hopes to start scheduling events — weddings, conferences, etc. — in the old bank building sometime this fall, pending the end of restoration work. Whatever your thoughts about his re-purposing of the bank building, or the potential addition of a 40-story building to the area's (generally low) skyline, the entire project has the makings of a juggernaut. Insert your own "making bank" jokes here, if you really can't help yourself.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.