A grand-scale illuminated ‘Welcome’ sign will soon crown 30 Columbia Heights, the former Jehovah’s Witness headquarters in Brooklyn Heights. The welcome sign will be installed at the end of the month in tall red lettering and replace the ‘Watchtower’ sign that stood above the Brooklyn waterfront for nearly 50 years.
The building at 30 Columbia Heights is now known as Panorama and encompasses two city blocks with five interconnected buildings. Developed in partnership by CIM GROUP and LIVWRK, the structure now contains office space.
“For decades these buildings and their surroundings were closed to the public, and we wanted our renovation to celebrate Panorama becoming an accessible and vital part of the new fabric of the Brooklyn waterfront,” said Jason Schreiber, principal of investments at CIM Group. “To our neighbors, tenants, and the entire city, ‘Welcome’ reflects this message.”
Approvals for the new signage were initially denied by the Department of Buildings, which demanded disassembly of the original Watchtower sign in 2017 when the religious group still occupied the building. The contention was based on claims the original sign was never formally approved by city officials.
CIM Group and LIVWRK’s legal team argued to the Board of Standards & Appeals that the Department of Buildings had previously approved numerous repairs and structural modifications to the Watchtower sign, which established a precedent in favor of the new building owners.
The board eventually ruled against the Department of Buildings.