DUMBO

Report: Jehovah’s Witnesses line up a buyer for 74 Adams St. in DUMBO

May 24, 2017 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Developer Jeffrey Gershon is buying 74 Adams St., the building on this DUMBO corner, from the Jehovah's Witnesses. Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese
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Going, going, gone.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses have found a buyer for one of their last Brooklyn properties, The Real Deal has reported.

The property that is being sold is a development site in DUMBO, 74 Adams St.

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Jeffrey Gershon of Hope Street Capital, a developer with properties in Brooklyn and Queens, is the buyer, the real-estate publication reported. The property is in contract for close to $60 million, the publication said.

Spokesmen for the Jehovah’s Witnesses did not immediately respond to requests for comment from the Brooklyn Eagle. Neither did Gershon.

The listing for 74 Adams St. has been removed from the Watchtower’s real-estate marketing website, which customarily occurs when one of the religious group’s properties goes into contract.

A one-story-plus-mezzanine vehicle-maintenance facility with 32 parking spaces now stands on the property. It has frontage on Adams Street, Front Street, York Street and Fleet Alley.

This pending deal brings the religious group another step closer to selling off its once-massive property holdings in DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights — after having a presence in Brooklyn for more than a century.

The Watchtower is methodically liquidating its real-estate portfolio because it recently relocated its world headquarters from Brooklyn Heights to upstate Warwick.

Earlier this month, as the Eagle previously reported, it closed on the $87.5 million sale of 107 Columbia Heights, a gated L-shaped residential building in the Brooklyn Heights Historic District. The purchaser was an affiliate of publicly traded Clipper Realty Inc., which is headed by David Bistricer.

Another company Bistricer heads is the co-owner of Brooklyn Heights’ Hotel Bossert, which was also purchased from the Jehovah’s Witnesses.  

As-of-right residential development     

But more about 74 Adams St., the DUMBO property that Gershon is reportedly buying.

It is located outside the boundaries of the DUMBO Historic District.

When the property was still included on the Watchtower’s marketing website, the listing described it as a 144,913-square-foot development site where luxury residential construction is allowed as-of-right. A new building constructed there could also have commercial and retail space and a community facility, if that’s what the purchaser wants.

According to city Finance Department records, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have owned 74 Adams St. since 1975. They purchased it from Andrew Borgersen.

When Gershon’s deal closes, 74 Adams St. will be the third DUMBO development site sold by the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The biggest-ticket deal was for 85 Jay St. The Kushner Cos. and investment partners paid $345 million for the massive parking lot, which has nearly 1 million square feet of development rights. Jared Kushner — President Trump’s son-in-law — headed the Kushner Cos. until he stepped aside to become the president’s senior adviser.

The purchaser of the other recently sold DUMBO development site, 69 Adams St., was the Rabsky Group, which paid $65 million for it. The site is currently occupied by a four-story building with a tennis court on top.

 


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