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Brooklyn developer says Dime Savings Bank building worth preserving

The Dime Savings Bank of Williamsburg was designated a city landmark on March 27 by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.

The neo-Classical building at 209 Havemeyer Street is one of the first sights for those coming off the Williamsburg Bridge into Brooklyn. The bank, designed by Helmle & Huberty, was constructed between 1906 and 1908 when the neighborhood saw major growth following the 1903 completion of the bridge.

Meenakshi Srinivasan, LPC’s chair, said the Dime Savings Bank was “a testament to the elegance and grandeur of the City Beautiful Movement.”

The area’s council member, Antonio Reynoso expressed gratitude to the LPC for protecting the gateway Brooklyn feature. “This historic structure has stood at the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge for over 100 years, welcoming folks to the neighborhood, and with this designation, we have ensured that it will remain in its original condition for 100 more,” Reynoso said.

“In a neighborhood that has experienced such drastic change in recent years, it is more important than ever that we protect our historical resources.”

The building is owned by Charney Construction and Development, which is in the middle of an extensive redesign of the lot that includes the Dime Savings Bank.

Charney’s project, The Dime (pictured top) will combine a new 21-story residential tower with the landmarked bank on the ground floor to offer a development with nearly 178 rental apartments, 100,000 s/f of office space, 55,000 s/f of ground floor retail, and 340 parking spaces, according to Charney.

Charney supported LPC’s decision to landmark the bank building. “This is a fitting tribute to the building’s architecture and its long history as a pillar of the historic financial center that was South Williamsburg,” said Sam Charney, the company’s principal.

“The Dime Savings Bank of Williamsburgh has served as a local source of pride and community centerpiece for the past century and is a true reflection of the socioeconomic diversity that has historically made this neighborhood and Brooklyn so special.”

Charney purchased the building in partnership with Tavros Capital Partners for $12.3 million last November. He paid $80 million for the adjacent site in March 2016. The project is expected to be completed in spring 2019

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