Crain’s NY Business writes about how our local electeds and others are already licking their chops over the potential buyers, uses and tax revenue resulting from the sale of the Watchtower properties in Brooklyn Heights.
Crain’s NY Business: “There is great potential here to transform the surrounding neighborhoods,” said Marty Markowitz, Brooklyn borough president.
Even with the sale likely a few years away, he and others are dreaming big about what could be. For the city, the sales could return the holdings of the largest landlord in Brooklyn Heights and vicinity—the nonprofit Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, the Witnesses’ business arm—to the city’s tax rolls. The move could net City Hall millions of dollars a year in revenue.
Meanwhile, backers of the nearby Brooklyn Bridge Park have already tentatively factored the sale of some of the Witnesses’ properties into the park’s long-range funding plans, and developers are eyeing the possibility of vast amounts of new housing and office space. The Witnesses themselves offer some other suggestions.
“These would be good for universities or a senior-housing operator,” said Richard Devine, a spokesman for the Witnesses, referring to half a dozen buildings linked by brightly lit, spotless tunnels that the Witnesses dug over the last 35 years.