DUMBO

The Jehovah’s Witnesses will start moving out of Brooklyn Heights headquarters in September

August 5, 2016 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Farewell to the Jehovah's Witnesses, who are moving out of their world headquarters at 25-30 Columbia Heights. Photos courtesy of Jehovah's Witnesses

Change is coming to Brooklyn Heights.

Watchtower workers are about to start moving out of their iconic headquarters, where their organization’s name has been glowing in red-neon light for almost a half-century.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses just sold their headquarters complex at 25-30 Columbia Heights for $340 million to a joint venture that includes a company headed by Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. The buyers are a joint venture of Kushner Companies, CIM Group and LIVWRK.

A spokesman for the Watchtower told the Brooklyn Eagle that personnel at the Brooklyn Heights headquarters will start moving out of the complex in earnest in September.

The move-out will continue, department by department, through the early months of next year, he said.

The religious group is heading to upstate Warwick, N.Y., where it has constructed a new headquarters facility. It has spent the past several years liquidating its enormous portfolio of Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO properties to prepare for the move.

In an announcement Friday, the Watchtower called the sale of its Brooklyn Heights complex one of its most significant steps in the relocation of its world headquarters.

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The headquarters sale marks the end of an era for Brooklyn Heights, where the Jehovah’s Witnesses have had a presence for a century.

They had owned the headquarters buildings since 1969.  

A Watchtower spokesman, David Semonian, said in the announcement, “25-30 Columbia Heights will always be part of our legacy as well as the rich history of Brooklyn.”

The just-sold headquarters complex is approximately 733,608 gross square feet in size and covers nearly two city blocks. It includes three other connected buildings, 50 and 58 Columbia Heights and 55 Furman St.

They all predate the Brooklyn Bridge, the Watchtower announcement noted.

Another Jehovah’s Witnesses spokesman, Richard Devine, recalled why the organization had purchased the headquarters buildings from pharmaceutical giant E.R. Squibb & Sons.

“We needed more space to accommodate our rapidly expanding operations, and we wanted to consolidate our offices, which at the time were scattered among several buildings in Brooklyn,” he said.

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