Jehovah’s Witnesses put BK Heights resi building on market

314K sf former hotel is the latest of the group's holdings up for sale

The Real Deal, New York/May 24, 2016

By Rey Mashayekhi

The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Brooklyn selling spree continues with the religious organization putting a 314,000-square-foot residential building in Brooklyn Heights on the market.

The historic 16-story property known as the Towers is currently used as a residence for members of the religious organization, which acquired the building in 1975. Located at 21 Clark Street, it opened in 1928 as the Leverich Towers Hotel.

The Witnesses led an extensive renovation of the property in 1995, rebuilding the interiors and replacing the plumbing and electrical systems, according to a news release.

As the building is located in the Brooklyn Heights Historic District, any alterations to its distinct façade – featuring four colonnaded, Venetian-style towers perched atop the corners of the property – would require Landmarks Preservation Commission approval.

The Towers is the latest asset in the Witnesses’ once-sizable Brooklyn portfolio to be marketed. The group is preparing to move its headquarters upstate to Warwick, N.Y.

The Witnesses listed three Downtown Brooklyn properties, including its iconic Watchtower headquarters complex, on the market late last year.

A group of investors led by Jared Kushner and Aby Rosen – who previously shelled out $375 million to acquire the five buildings now known as Dumbo Heights office complex from the Witnesses in 2013 – are reportedly set to pay $700 million for both the 733,000-square-foot headquarters complex and a development site at 85 Jay Street holding 1.1 million buildable square feet.

Virtu Financial founder and CEO Vincent Viola closed on the purchase of the other property listed late last year – a 152,000-square-foot residential building at 124 Columbia Heights – for $105 million last month, as The Real Deal reported.

But the religious organization has continued to list more properties for sale this year, including a 154,000-square-foot residential building at 107 Columbia Heights and a four-story recreational facility with 157,000 square feet of development rights at 69 Adams Street.

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