Jehovah's Witnesses DUMBO Headquarters to Become 'Urban Office Campus'

DNA Info, New York/August 4, 2016

By Alexandra Leon

Dumbo — The Jehovah’s Witnesses Watchtower building will be transformed into a new “urban office campus,” its developer said.

The property — set on 2.3 acres at 25, 30, 50 and 58 Columbia Heights and 55 Furman St. — will be renovated and turned into a “world class office campus,” according to Kushner Companies.

"We're always looking to raise the bar for how today's top companies want to work, and this property will set a new standard," Kushner Companies CEO Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, said in a statement.

"Over the next year, we'll begin transforming the property into one of the marquee urban office campuses anywhere in the country, let alone New York City."

The developer, along with LIVWRK and CIM Group, closed on the 739,000-square-foot property Wednesday for $340 million, according to a source close to the deal.

Kushner Companies is also under contract for the Jehovah's Witnesses' massive vacant lot at 85 Jay St., but it has not yet closed on the sale, the source added.

Five former Jehovah’s Witness buildings owned by Kushner Companies, RFR Realty and LIVWRK are already part of the “high tech urban campus” in DUMBO, where companies like Etsy and WeWork have already leased office space.

The 1-million-square-foot site — which includes 175 Pearl St., 77 Sands St., 117 Adams St., 81 Prospect St. and 55 Prospect St. — underwent a $100 million gut renovation after the group purchased it for $375 million in October of 2013.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses have been selling their DUMBO properties after they announced in December that they would move their headquarters upstate to Warwick by 2017.

Construction of the new headquarters is expected to be completed by September.

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