Second Witnesses property fetches $4.1M

Purchase price of the Brooklyn Heights carriage house seen as 9% below the asking level. Sales are from the group's 34-property, 3.2 million-square-foot portfolio in the area.

Crain's, New York/January 11, 2012

The second of eight Brooklyn Heights properties put up for sale last year by the Jehovah's Witnesses has sold for $4.1 million, just a month after the first of the properties was snapped up.

The two-story, 4,172-square-foot carriage house located at 165 Columbia Heights fetched just 9% less than its asking price, according to, which said the transaction closed on Jan. 10. Ellen Newman of The Corcoran Group was retained this summer by the Witnesses to market the four-bedroom, four-bathroom house and four others in Brooklyn Heights.

Ms. Newman confirmed the sale. She said the carriage house was bought by a couple from San Francisco, who plan to renovate the 112-year-old property,

A spokesman for the Witnesses said 165 Columbia Heights was used to house of members of their religious order and for parking. He declined to comment on the sale price or to reveal how much the Witnesses bought the property for nine years ago.

According to public record, the Witnesses had owned the house, which features arched windows and multiple skylights, since 2002. Like all the other properties owned by the Witnesses, the house was in pristine condition. The four other townhouses that Ms. Newman is marketing are not in contract, according to However, the asking price for the four-story, two-unit townhouse with a total of 3,040 square feet at 34 Orange St., was dropped 7% to $3.25 million in November, according to The asking price for the other properties—at 67 Remsen St., 76 Willow St. and 105 Willow St.—remain at $3.6 million each.

Last week, Massey Knakal Realty Services, the brokerage retained to sell three of the Witnesses' buildings, announced the sale of five-story, 20-unit 50 Orange St. for $7.1 million and noted that sale contracts for the two other properties at 183 Columbia Heights and 161 Columbia Heights in the neighborhood had been sent out.

The Jehovah's Witnesses, who have called Brooklyn their home since 1909, are the largest landlord in the Brooklyn Heights area. The group has accumulated 34 properties totaling 3.2 million square feet over the course of decades and created a self-sustaining community in the Brooklyn area.

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