Hotel Le Bleu Operator Planning New 'Boutique' Inn on Third Avenue

By Leslie Albrecht on August 1, 2013 8:00am 

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 Globiwest Hospitality plans to build a six-story 'boutique' hotel on Third Avenue and Sixth Street.
Hotel Le Bleu Operator Planning New 'Boutique' Inn on Third Avenue
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GOWANUS — The operators of Hotel Le Bleu are planning a new boutique hotel for gritty Third Avenue.

Globiwest Hospitality recently filed plans to construct a six-story, 58-room hotel on the corner of Third Avenue and Sixth Street. The city has yet to approve the plans, but Globiwest Principal Mukesh Patel said he's hoping to get started as soon as possible.

Patel said the new hotel will be similar to Le Bleu, the seven-floor hotel at 340 Fourth Ave. that glows with blue lighting each night and boasts a rooftop lounge.

He promised that his new hotel would be a cut above others that have sprung up recently along rapidly changing Third and Fourth avenues.

"It's not going to be every other hotel," Patel said. "It's going to be a nice boutique property [with] way more than what La Quinta, Super 8, Comfort Inn or Holiday Inn Express offers. It's more about personalized service."

Globiwest also runs Hotel Le Jolie, which opened in Williamsburg in 2007, as well as several other properties around the country.

Globiwest's new hotel at 399 Third Ave. will rise on an empty lot next door to the U-Haul building that was in the news recently after the Eagle Clothes sign on top of it was torn down. The hotel project is not related to U-Haul's planned expansion of its building, Patel said.

The site has a history of attempted developments. In 2007, developer Domenick Tonacchio unveiled plans for a glass tower office building there. Tonacchio sold the property in 2012 for $1.95 million, according to city records.

Le Bleu, which is currently for sale for $12 million, was the first "boutique" hotel to open in Gowanus, Patel said. Despite its location between a taxi depot and a Staples store, it attracts a stream of guests from Europe and Canada, Patel said.

Other clients include families of patients at New York Methodist Hospital, and people who want to stay overnight in Brooklyn after seeing a show at the Barclays Center, Patel said.

Patel got flak for changing the neighborhood's character with Le Bleu, but its arrival triggered improvements for semi-industrial Gowanus, he said.

Since Le Bleu opened in 2007, the area has seen a spate of new luxury residential developments, and a Whole Foods is now under construction at Third Avenue and Third Street.

"You have to respect that someone is investing money into the neighborhood and making it a great neighborhood," Patel said. "Gowanus and Park Slope wouldn’t have been great if all these projects hadn’t come into play…Now you see Whole Foods going up. Why would Whole Foods go right next to the Gowanus Canal if it wasn't the right spot to be?"

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