New Williamsburgh Savings Bank owner plans $3M restoration, new banquet hall

March 22, 2011 09:55AM

The new owner of the landmark Williamsburgh Savings Bank branch on the corner of Broadway and Driggs Avenue is turning the 136-year-old property into an exhibition space and banquet hall. New York Loft Hostel owner Juan Figueroa, who purchased the building from HSBC this past December for $4.5 million, told the Brooklyn Paper that a $3 million restoration plan is already underway, including the removal of a wall that had divided the space in two. Figueroa said he had once considered a restaurant or hotel conversion for the George Post-designed property but ultimately decided not to compete with nearby restaurants like Peter Luger and Diner and Dressler. Like the ceilings, oak railings and bronze fixtures, the bank’s two safes will be restored. One will likely house a bar, while the other will be a private party room. “I found this building in the gutter, and I picked it up,” Figueroa said. “Nobody took care of it in 100 years and now I will.” Meanwhile, he hasn’t yet decided the fate of the vacant lot behind the building, which is zoned for residential and retail use. [Brooklyn Paper]