DUMBO

Kushner Cos. drops out of deal to buy a hotel from the Jehovah’s Witnesses

September 7, 2017 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The company headed until recently by Jared Kushner, shown here, has dropped out of a deal to buy a residential hotel from the Jehovah's Witnesses. AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

The Kushner Cos. dropped out of a deal to buy a DUMBO residential hotel from the Jehovah’s Witnesses.  

The company, which was headed by Jared Kushner until he stepped away to serve as senior adviser to his father-in-law, President Donald Trump, and its investment partners agreed in 2013 to purchase 90 Sands St. as part of a package of Watchtower properties.

The plan was for the Jehovah’s Witnesses to continue to use the hotel until 2017, then close on its sale.

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Now, one of Kushner Cos.’ investment partners, RFR, has made the hotel purchase on its own.

The real-estate investment firm paid $135 million through 90 Sands Owner LLC, city Finance Department records indicate. Richard Froom, an attorney at RFR, was the LLC’s authorized signatory.

RFR is headed by Aby Rosen and Michael Fuchs. Their firm owns Manhattan trophy assets such as the Seagram Building.

A spokesperson for Kushner told The Real Deal, which was the first publication to report RFR’s purchase of the Watchtower’s residential hotel, “We are pleased with the outcome and wish our friends and partners at RFR lots of success.”

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Watchtower asset sell-off continues

The five DUMBO Watchtower buildings that Kushner Cos., RFR and other investment partners purchased in 2013 for $240 million are the residential hotel’s immediate neighbors on Sands, Adams, Pearl and Prospect streets. They had been used by the Jehovah’s Witnesses as Bible-printing plants.

Kushner Cos. and its partners have turned the five buildings into a techie-friendly office complex called Dumbo Heights.

RFR’s purchase of the hotel at 90 Sands St. is the latest step forward in the Watchtower’s long-running campaign to liquidate its once-massive real estate portfolio in DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights.

The religious organization is carrying out this sell-off because it has moved its world headquarters from Brooklyn Heights to the upstate town of Warwick.

Kushner Cos. and its investment partners have spent $1 billion on purchases of Watchtower properties.

These include the former Watchtower headquarters at 25-30 Columbia Heights in Brooklyn Heights and a parking lot at 85 Jay St. in DUMBO with 1 million square feet of development rights.

 


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