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A block in Brooklyn, once known for being the center of the borough’s abolitionist movement, might soon be known as hotel row.
That after V3 Hotels announced plans last week to build their second hotel on the strip.
The new hotel is slated for 231 Duffield Place, just down the block from their boutique Hotel Indigo. The block also houses a Sheraton Hotel now under construction.
“Downtown Brooklyn is the fastest growing district in New York City, seeing an increased volume of visitors, and we have found that there is still great demand for hotel rooms,” said Greg Atkins, director of development of V3 Hotels, and former chief of staff for Borough President Marty Markowitz.
“With new restaurants, retailers, cultural attractions, businesses, residential buildings and growing enrollment at area colleges, V3 is striving to meet the needs of this thriving borough,” he added.
The 19-story, $20 million hotel will include 130 rooms that will be comfortable as well as affordable, and more than 1,500 square feet of ground-floor retail space.
The new hotel will be right next to 227 Abolitionist Place, aka 227 Duffield Street, which has a tunnel beneath it that many believed was used as part of the “Underground Railroad.”
The home, built in 1848, was owned by Thomas and Harriet Lee-Truesdell, prominent abolitionists of that era.
Following the 2004 Downtown Brooklyn rezoning, the house along with several others was the center of a showdown between local preservationists and the city, which wanted to condemn them to make way for a park.
However, after a lengthy court battle, the city and preservationists agreed that 227 Duffield Place would be spared.
Around this time, the city also co-named the block Abolitionist Place.
The home’s owner, Joy Chatel, plans on turning 227 Duffield Place into a museum and cultural center dedicated to the Abolitionist movement.
Chatel said she doesn’t mind the high-rise hotels going up all around her as long as it doesn’t cause damage to the house.
“I’m all for building the place up. I just don’t like when they kick people out of their homes to do it, but V3 hasn’t done that,” said Chatel.
“I’m all for technology as long as it’s classy. It should be like Europe where they keep the old with the new,” she added.
Chatel said having the house between all the hotels, which is right off the Fulton Mall, would even encourage guests to come to the museum and cultural center.
“Visitors can take some of our traditional dance classes, and learn more about West African culture,” she said.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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