DUMBO

Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO properties the Jehovah’s Witnesses haven’t yet sold: Part One

Eye On Real Estate

December 30, 2015 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
A castle in a fairy tale? No, it's 21 Clark St., a former Brooklyn Heights hotel that the Jehovah's Witnesses have not yet put up for sale. Eagle photos by Lore Croghan

Amen, Amen, Amen.

The Watchtower’s got a trio of fine properties on the sale market.

Its Brooklyn Heights headquarters with the famous red neon “Watchtower” sign at 25-30 Columbia Heights. A terrific residential building at 124 Columbia Heights with jaw-dropping views of the Promenade and Lower Manhattan. A site at 85 Jay St. in DUMBO with nearly 1 million square feet of development rights.

The Watchtower is heading into the final stretch of a years-long process of selling its real estate in the two neighborhoods to prepare for the relocation of its headquarters to upstate Warwick. The move will begin in fall 2016 and continue into 2017, as we’ve reported.

With the Watchtower occupying top of mind among real estate-obsessed Brooklynites, this seems like the right moment to look at the dozen Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO properties the Jehovah’s Witnesses have not put up for sale — yet.

Here are three of them:

* 21 Clark St.: Back when our parents (or grandparents) were young, the Leverich Towers Hotel hosted the Brooklyn Dodgers during home games.

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The elegant 1920s-vintage Romanesque-style building designed by Starrett & Van Vleck is topped with four towers that were spotlit at night.

The Witnesses bought the Brooklyn Heights Historic District property on the corner of Willow Street in 1975 for $1,992,229.08 from a trust with Leo Rosner and Philip Robbins as trustees, city Finance Department records indicate.  

According to city Buildings Department documents filed by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, there are now 296 residential units in the 15-story building.

* 80 Willow St.: This brick residence, built in the 1840s, is located on the corner of Pineapple Street in the Brooklyn Heights Historic District.

It was initially acquired in 1986 by Cohi Towers Associates, a wholly owned Watchtower entity, Finance Department records show. Cohi Towers Associates transferred the property to the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York (which is the Watchtower’s full name) in 1988. 

* 86 Willow St.: This red-brick carriage house has belonged to the Jehovah’s Witnesses for so long that there’s no deed for it in online Finance Department records, which go back as far as the 1960s. There are two residential units in the two-story property, according to Buildings Department records. 

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