“There is only one possible use, and that’s luxury condominiums.”
So proclaimed David Lombino, the director of special projects for Two Trees, in a New York Times story published last weekend and accompanied by stunning photographs of the landscape currently inhabited by the Jehovah’s Witness complex that straddles Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO.
His conclusion is hardly a surprise, given the location of the JW properties and the Brooklyn real estate, and the article doesn’t spend much time analyzing the effects of the thousands of residents that will likely occupy the buildings and land currently on the market.
“Everyone in the world will be taking a look at them,” said Tucker Reed, the president of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, a local development corporation. “The barrier to entry for a lot of those folks will be how high land values have gone. I’m sure they will fetch a very high sales price.” Mr. Reed estimated the value of the three properties being marketed as “somewhere between $850 million to $1 billion.”
Among the properties available is a three-acre parking lot on Jay Street the development of which will not require a public review process and that could on its own, according to the article, eventually house 1,000 residents.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses began divesting their local properties more than a decade ago, beginning with the building that became One Brooklyn Bridge.
And while the article doesn’t examine future effects of the development, it does cast an approving eye on the Witnesses’ presence in the bad old days of the neighborhood, when DUMBO was a scary place inhabited by packs of roaming feral dogs.
And it estimates that once the properties return to the city’s tax rolls, they could bring in up to nearly $7 million annually.
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