The Real Deal New York

Megalith partners with Carlyle affiliate on Dumbo site

Developer building 12-story rental complex on former Jehovah's Witnesses land
By Mark Maurer | May 27, 2014 03:25PM

UPDATE, 4:36 p.m., May 27: An affiliate of Washington, D.C.-based global asset management firm Carlyle Group acquired three contiguous parcels in Dumbo from Midtown developer Megalith Capital Management for a total of $30.6 million — the same amount the sites changed hands for last year, according to property records filed with the city today. The two companies are partnering together on the development of the site. 

Megalith and Carlyle plan to construct a 105-unit rental building at the location, Which Includes 173 Front Street, 177 Front Street and 200 Water Street. Just 13 months ago, the land was part of a massive portfolio belonging to the Jehovah’s Witnesses. As part of the organization’s plan to relocate upstate, the Jehovah’s Witnesses sold it to Megalith for $30.6 million in April, as The Real Deal reported.

The Front Street addresses are vacant lots, while 200 Water Street holds a three-story warehouse. The former sold for $21.35 million; the later closed for $9.25 million, records show. Brillo Manufacturing, best known for their steel wool Brillo pads, long occupied the warehouse.

The plans call for a 12-story building with one- and two-bedroom apartments asking between $3,000 and $6,000 per month in rent, as previously reported. Suffern, N.Y.-based Aufgang Architects has been hired to design the structure.

In a response to a request for comment regarding the deeds, a spokesperson for Megalith Capital Management said an affiliate of the Carlyle Group has invested into a partnership with Megalith Capital Management as well as Urban Realty Partners, an earlier partner on the deal. Megalith and Urban Realty will remain as operators, records show. 

The Carlyle Group could not be immediately reached for comment.

Last fall, the Jehovah’s Witnesses sold the majority of its Dumbo portfolio in a six-building, $375 million deal with Kushner Companies and RFR Realty. Earlier this month, Kushner unveiled plans to rebrand the former Watchtower buildings as a high-tech office complex known as Dumbo Heights.