The Real Deal New York

CIM, Kushner and LIVWRK close on 85 Jay Street for $345M

Dev site in Dumbo allows 1.1M sf development as of right
December 21, 2016 09:16AM

Parking lot at 85 Jay Street, CIM’s Shaul Kuba (Credit: Getty Images) and Jared Kushner

CIM Group, Kushner and LIVWRK this week closed on the second part of their 2016 Watchtower acquisition, buying a development site at 85 Jay Street in Dumbo for $345 million from the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The partners had closed on the $340 million acquisition of the nearby Watchtower office building, also from Jehovah’s Witnesses, back in August. The religious group has been selling its Brooklyn properties for years, as it relocates to a new headquarters upstate in Warwick.

The 135,000-square foot development site, currently a parking lot, comes with 1.1 million square feet in as-of-right development rights. The partners plan to construct a mixed-use building. The New York Post first reported the sale figure late Tuesday night.

“This site has tremendous upside, and we’re looking forward to developing a project that will further enhance the area and help strengthen connections between the Dumbo Heights campus and the waterfront,” Laurent Morali TRData LogoTINY, president of Kushner (formerly known as Kushner Companies) said in a statement.

Kushner, CIM and LIVWRK spent a combined $685 million buying the two properties. They’ll have to dish out even more to construct a tower and renovate the aging Watchtower building at 25-30 Columbia Heights. A source recently told The Real Deal that CIM Group contributed a substantial portion of the purchase price in equity.

TRD recently profiled CIM, which has been one of the most active financial backers of residential new developments. Its other current projects include the condo conversion 100 Barclay in the Financial District and two planned rental towers at 260 South Street in partnership with L+M Development Partners.

Kushner, meanwhile, bought another five Dumbo buildings for $375 million from Jehovah’s Witnesses in 2013 in partnership with RFR Realty and spent $100 million renovating them. Kushner’s CEO Jared Kushner has been mulling stepping away from the company to take a full-time role in his father-in-law’s presidential administration. [NYP]Konrad Putzier