11-08-2017

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Jehovah’s Witnesses Sell Development Site at 74 Adams St. in DUMBO

Another piece of the Kingdom is gone.

On Wednesday, the Jehovah’s Witnesses announced the sale of one of the last remaining properties in their once-massive Brooklyn real-estate portfolio.

A vehicle-repair garage currently stands on the property they sold, which is 74 Adams St. in DUMBO.

The property is zoned for almost 145,000 square feet of mixed-use development, the Watchtower said in its announcement, meaning residential, commercial and retail space can be built.

In September, the purchaser, Jeffrey Gershon of Hope Street Capital, applied for a permit to demolish the one-story garage, city Buildings Department records indicate. His name appears on the Buildings Department filing as the authorized signatory of 80 Adams Property Owner LLC.

Gershon did not respond to a request for comment about the purchase of 74 Adams St.

The purchase deed for the site has not yet appeared in city Finance Department records. So the Brooklyn Eagle was unable to confirm the purchase price.

But The Real Deal reported last May that Gershon had signed a contract to pay close to $60 million for 74 Adams St.

The development site has frontage on Adams, Front and York streets and Fleet Alley. It is located outside the boundaries of the DUMBO Historic District.

The Watchtower had owned 74 Adams St. since 1975.

 

The Watchtower recently sold The Towers for $202.5 million

Until recently, the Jehovah’s Witnesses had a major presence in DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights. But they’ve been selling off their holdings in the two neighborhoods because last year they moved their world headquarters to upstate Warwick, New York.

Their former Brooklyn Heights headquarters at 25-30 Columbia Heights now belongs to a joint venture called Columbia Heights Associates that includes the Kushner Cos. The company was headed by Jared Kushner until he stepped aside to become a senior advisor to his father-in-law, President Donald Trump.

The former headquarters complex has an iconic red “Watchtower” sign on it that the new owners plan to remove.

Kushner Cos. and various investor partners have paid around $1 billion for Watchtower property purchases in Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO.

A different investor made a big Watchtower property purchase just last week.

Kayne Anderson Real Estate Advisors bought The Towers at 21 Clark St. in Brooklyn Heights.

The deed, which has just appeared in online Finance Department records, indicates that the real-estate investor paid $202.5 million for The Towers.

Before the Watchtower owned The Towers, it was an elegant hotel where the top-paid players on the Brooklyn Dodgers stayed during the baseball season.

The new owner of the storied property plans to turn it into a seniors-housing complex called The Watermark at Brooklyn Heights.

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