All Along the Watchtower: Construction plans okayed for former Witnesses’ buildings in DUMBO

Eye On Real Estate

February 5, 2014 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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The new owners of five former Watchtower buildings in DUMBO are getting their ducks in a row so they can start turning the coveted properties into offices for techies.

In late January, Aby Rosen and Michael Fuchs, top execs of RFR, filed a flurry of documents seeking the city Buildings Department’s okay for renovation and reconstruction work at the erstwhile Jehovah’s Witnesses properties, online records indicate.

The city agency has already approved plan exams for mechanical and plumbing work and the removal of interior partitions at the buildings, whose addresses are 55 Prospect St., 81 Prospect St., 117 Adams St., 77 Sands St. and 175 Pearl St.

The department is reviewing plans for base-building structural modifications and construction.

Real estate watchers have been waiting for work to get underway at the former Bible-printing plants ever since RFR and the Kushner Cos. purchased them last October.

Their combined price was $240 million, city records indicate. The big buy was part of a $375 million deal with the Witnesses that also included a hotel at 90 Sands St., which the religious group is expected to hold onto until 2017.

A spokeswoman for RFR referred questions to Kushner’s spokesman, who declined to comment.

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