The Real Deal New York

Kushner, CIM & LIVWRK close on $340M Watchtower buy

Deal is among the largest ever completed in Brooklyn
By Katherine Clarke | August 04, 2016 09:48AM

The Watchtower Building at 25-30 Columbia Heights

The Watchtower Building at 25-30 Columbia Heights in Dumbo (inset from top: Asher Abehsera and Jared Kushner)

A partnership led by Kushner Companies, CIM Group and LIVWRK has finalized a deal for the famed Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Watchtower building in Brooklyn, The Real Deal has learned. The deal, valued at $340 million, is one of the largest ever closed in the borough.

A spokesperson for the developers could not immediately be reached.

Kushner and LIVWRK have been rumored to be buying the 733,000-square-foot headquarters at 25-30 Columbia Heights since April. Aby Rosen’s RFR Holding was initially slated to be a partner on the deal but multiple sources said he was no longer involved. Rosen could not be immediately reached for comment.

The Watchtower partners are also in contract to buy a 35,000-square-foot site at 85 Jay Street in Dumbo with 1.1 million square feet of as-of development rights. That deal has not yet closed.

Cushman & Wakefield’s Bob Knakal represented the sellers on the deal for 25-30 Columbia Heights.

Kushner and LIVWRK previously partnered with RFR to buy and reposition five other buildings formerly owned by the Witnesses in Dumbo for $375 million. That complex is now known as Dumbo Heights and counts WeWork and Etsy among is tenants. The Watchtower building will also likely be repositioned as a creative office tower, sources said.

The Witnesses are reportedly leaving the borough altogether after setting up a new headquarters in Warwick, NY.