New Boutique Hotel Checking In On Fourth Ave.

October 27, 2006 at 7:07 pm Leave a comment

An eight-story boutique hotel with breathtaking views of the Gowanus Canal—as well as lower Manhattan—could be open as soon as January 2007, the project’s architect told this paper.

“It will be a high-end type hotel,” said architect Edward Hicks.

The hotel at 370-372 Fourth Avenue is designed by Canada-based Andres Escobar and Associates, and will hold 48 rooms and include a “glass curtain wall” and balconies off several of the rooms, Hicks said.

“If you are on the eighth floor, you get a beautiful view of lower Manhattan,” he said.

Asked if guests might take exception to views of the canal, which is still one of the most polluted waterways in North America, Hicks said they would not.

“The canal is all cleaned up. It hasn’t looked that good in 50-60 years,” he said.

That much is true. After all, ships used to dock in the canal so that its potent water would kill off marine growth on their ships.

The hotel’s swift rise can be attributed to the 2003 change in the city’s zoning resolution along the Fourth Avenue corridor, allowing buildings of this size to be constructed without a public review.

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“The rezoning was a big help,” Hicks said.

Whether or not the structure will have a rooftop restaurant, as has been rumored, is still up in the air.

The city’s Department of Buildings disapproved plans for a 120-person restaurant on the hotel’s top floor.

Jennifer Givner, a DOB spokesperson, said the agency has not heard from the developer since May about the rooftop restaurant. The DOB does not retain files stating why an application is disapproved, Givner said. Generally speaking, applications are disapproved for non-compliance with the city’s Zoning Resolution or the Building Code.

Hicks said the rooftop restaurant is “tentative.” The space might instead be used for offices or more rooms, he added.

Developer Domenick Tonacchio, of Tona Development, did not return a call for comment at press time.

The region is fast becoming a magnet for the mint-on-a-pillow set. Tona’s project is near the newly constructed Holiday Inn Express on Union Street, a Comfort Inn is planned for Baltic Street, and the Smith Hotel is planned for Smith Street.

“I think it’s sort of a trend, instead of going into Manhattan, to be in the outer boroughs,” Hicks said.

Originally from Bensonhurst, Hicks said more hotels in Brooklyn give travelers more options.

“And the rates are better than Manhattan,” he added.

©Courier-Life Publications 2006

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