Dec 30, 2016

A look at the Jehovah's Witnesses' recent N.Y.C. land deals (including those with Trump's son-in-law)

Anthony Noto Reporter New York Business Journal
New York Business Journal
Dec 30, 2016

Jehovah's Witnesses, over the years, have owned some 4.5 million square feet of New York City space, including 30 buildings. Since 2004, the religious group has been selling off its assets, with several money-making deals inked this year.

One of the organization's buyers was none other than Jared Kushner, the upstart real estate developer who happens to be the son-in-law of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.

Kushner, who bought a Jehovah's Witness portfolio made up of 1.2 million square feet of commercial space in 2013, was a buyer this year as well. Here's a rundown of transactions that were made this year:
In August, a consortium made up of Kushner Companies, CIM Group and LIVWRK bought 739,000-square-feet of space making up the group's flagship Watchtower building. The $340 million deal included interconnected buildings at 25-30-50 and 58 Columbia Heights and 55 Furman St.
Kushner returned for the most recent sale — a property in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn — which closed a few days before Christmas. A parking lot at 85 Jay St. in DUMBO with nearly 1 million square feet of development rights was sold to Kushner and its investment partners for $345 million.
In November, the Jehovah's Witnesses sold their property at 69 Adams St. The 157,410-square-foot development site, situated alongside the Manhattan Bridge, was previously occupied by a four-story recreational facility with a tennis court on its roof and a parking garage with 84 spaces.
Still Up For Sale
Offers were due for 74 Adams St., a vehicle-maintenance facility, on Nov. 17.
An 11-story residential structure at 97 Columbia Heights in Brooklyn was placed on the market back in October. The building occupies the site of the former Hotel Margaret that was destroyed by a fire in 1980.

The string of deals are part of a larger move for the group, which seeks to switch its headquarters to Warwick, New York.

Anthony Noto is a multimedia journalist focused on venture capital and Silicon Alley startups. Based in New York for the Business Journals, he previously was a reporter at SourceMedia and The Deal LLC. He is a graduate of Rutgers University.

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