Over the spring, a team of developers entered into contract to acquire, from the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the 11-story, 739,000-square-foot commercial complex known as the Watchtower, at 25-30 Columbia Heights, in Brooklyn Heights. The team – now a joint venture between the Kushner Companies, CIM Group, and LIVWRK – have closed on the purchase for roughly $340 million, Commercial Observer reported. The new owners plan to convert the complex into creative office space, likely similar to how some of the same developers transformed the five-building complex now dubbed DUMBO Heights. The redevelopment is expected to begin within a year. In addition to the acquisition of 25-30 Columbia Heights, the same partnership is remains in contract to buy the vacant, block-encompassing development site at 85 Jay Street, in DUMBO.
A small lot in Brooklyn’s Fulton Ferry Historic District is on its way to a change of use. On Tuesday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved changes that will allow the former gas station at 14 Old Fulton Street to become a restaurant.
Back in 2012, Clipper Equity and the Chetrit Group acquired, from the Jehovah’s Witnesses for $81 million, the 14-story Bossert Hotel building at 98 Montague Street, in Brooklyn Heights. It has since been undergoing a conversion back to the structure’s original use as a hotel, and now it has been revealed that the the building will open on October 1, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported. Re-dubbed Esplendor Bossert Brooklyn, it will be operated by Fën Hotels. The latest building permits indicate there will be 279 hotel rooms. It will feature a 1,997-square-foot restaurant on the first floor, a 2,995-square-foot lobby café, and a 2,300-square-foot restaurant on the 14th floor. The rooftop terrace will measure 1,922 square feet and will be utilized by the restaurant. New York-based Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman + Associates Architects (GSKA) is behind the design of the renovation. The building sits within the Brooklyn Heights Historic District.
Last month, news broke that the city, with selected developers RAL Development and Oliver Realty Group and architect ODA New York, would be moving forward with a two-building residential project at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6, in southern Brooklyn Heights, without the support of the Empire State Development Corporation (ESD). Yesterday, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation voted to approve the updated project, Curbed NY reports. The latest plans call for a 28-story, 126-unit market-rate condominium tower and a 12-story, 140-unit mixed-income rental building, where 100 of the rental apartments will rent at below-market rates, according to the Wall Street Journal. One of the buildings will feature a public restroom, but there’s no mention of any commercial components. Construction is expected to begin in the first half of 2017. As part of the deal, the city will receive a one-time payment of $115 million followed by $2.7 million per year.
In March, the Empire State Development Corporation (ESD) withheld approval for the two-tower, mixed-income residential project at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, located in southern Brooklyn Heights. The city selected RAL Development and Oliver Realty Group, with ODA New York as the architect, to develop a 29-story, 192-unit condominium building and a 14-story, 147-unit mixed-use rental building with 117 below-market-rate apartments, a preschool, a 930-square-foot retail component, and 1,500-square-foot community facility. Now, the ESD is withdrawing from the project, entirely over concerns regarding ties between the developers and the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio, Politico New York reports.