Curved Tower Will Rise on Former Jehovah’s Witnesses Lot Next to Brooklyn Bridge in Dumbo

Brownstoner, New York/June 18, 2019

By Craig Hubert

A tilted, glassy tower is coming soon to Dumbo, where it will be wedged between the Brooklyn Bridge and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

Located at 60 Front Street (alternative addresses include 30 Front Street and 1 York Street), the 26-story tower is designed by the firm Hill West Architects. On top of a five-story base, the remaining 21 stories will ascend in a slim, dramatic curve sloping upwards.

It will stand on what was formerly a triangular shaped parking lot at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge owned by the Jehovah’s Witnesses. It was acquired by the developer Fortis in December 2018 for $91.113 million. It is not part of the Dumbo Historic District.

The architect filed an application for a new building in January, and they got the go-ahead to start work on the foundation in March. The project has recently broken ground, a site visit Monday revealed.

The design stands out significantly from its neighbors. The new construction in the neighborhood tends to be conservative in style, in part to integrate with surrounding buildings in the former industrial area.

In 2011, the Witnesses started putting their considerable Brooklyn holdings up for sale, estimated to be worth well over $1 billion, in preparation for a move upstate to Warwick, N.Y. The parking lot at 30 Front was their final piece of property in Brooklyn.

The new building will have a total of 76 units, according to DOB filings, although it’s unclear if they will be rentals or condos. A gym, yoga room, sauna and bowling room will be included underground, along with 73 parking spaces (an additional 46 will be included off site).

The fourth and fifth floors of the building will be occupied by a school, according to filings. There will be a pool and tenant recreation area on the sixth floor and a roof terrace at the top.

Fortis is well known in Brooklyn as the developer behind the controversial redevelopment of the former Long Island College Hospital campus in Cobble Hill. Hill West Architects are also one of the architects on that project.

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