Kushner-owned former Jehovah’s campus added to DUMBO BID

February 17, 2017 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Mayor Bill de Blasio added Kushner Cos.' DUMBO Heights complex, seen here from the pedestrian approach to the Brooklyn Bridge, to the DUMBO BID. Eagle photo by Lore Croghan
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With the stroke of a pen, Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday expanded the DUMBO Business Improvement District (BID) to include the former Jehovah’s Witnesses’ buildings in DUMBO along Prospect and Sands Streets. The 1.2 million-square-foot, five-building campus is now known as DUMBO Heights.

Kushner Companies’ Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and advisor, partnered with LIVWRK and RFR to acquire the DUMBO Heights campus from Watchtower Real Estate in October 2013. (More on this here.)

The partnership undertook a more than $100 million gut renovation to transform the site into a creative office campus in Brooklyn.

Intro. 1371 allows for an extension of the DUMBO BID and increases the BID’s budget as well. Councilmember Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, chair of the Committee on Finance, sponsored the bill. He was joined by Councilmember Stephen Levin.

The BID’s assessment will increase by $185,000, from $650,000 to $835,000, or roughly 28.5 percent.

Alexandria Sica, executive director of the BID, told the Brooklyn Eagle on Thursday, “By expanding our boundaries, our assessment increased proportionally — essentially adding the contribution from these new properties. Those buildings are home to many tech and creative companies — and a number of tenants who moved there from elsewhere in DUMBO including Etsy and Prolific Interactive.”

She added, “The expansion will allow us to deliver services to this part of the neighborhood.”

A BID is a public/private partnership in which property and business owners make a contribution to maintain, develop and promote the commercial district. The DUMBO BID sponsors public art, free WiFi, Archway events, the Doe Fund and other programs.

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