There Must Be Some Way Outta Here: Watchtower Plans Rockland Compound

The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society is planning to build an 850 person residential and administrative complex in Rockland County according to the Journal News.   The organization paid $11.5 million for the land in Ramapo which is located near its printing facilities in Ulster County.  The Watchtower successfully sold a few of its properties in Brooklyn Heights over the last few years including what is now known as One Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Standish Arms. Its sale of the Hotel Bossert fell through late last year.   The report adds that “the society plans to move many of its administrative offices from Brooklyn, where it has overseen its worldwide operations for 100 years.”

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  • Danny Haszard

    They are still developing more tax free real estate.

    Know this,the billion dollar Watchtower society corporation had all us us old time followers convinced that we should live lives of austerity (and give it to them) because the end of world was coming and we weren’t gonna be needing it for our retirement.

    Shame on them!

  • AEB

    A lot of fancy real estate for those devoted to the Ultimate Immaterial.

    Hope the time and temp flasher remains, in any case. Now THAT’S a blessing!

  • epc

    This would free up a lot of prime real–estate in DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights. The lots in DUMBO are conveniently outside the LPC district as well as the current rezoning effort.

  • T.Bill

    The tax exempt Watchtower corporation is much like tax exempt Scientology they will keep buying up property like Scientology has done in Clearwater Florida.
    The Watchtower has practically no charity except for an occasional exalted PR puff piece.Very rich mostly clean cut but cheapo.

  • A. J. Albert Jr.

    I am not a fan of the Watchtower Governing Body at all , especially you Ted Jackass , but after all the hatred, whining and criticism directed at the “Jehovahs Zombies” over time , I think all of you hatemongers from the Heights who have been so vengeful of the Organization over the years , deserve to have a neighborhood of Thugs and Criminals move in so that you can see they werent such bad neighbors after all over the years ….Yeah , Im still here GB…..

  • John Wentling

    They bitched about the Watchtower and the loss of tax revenue, don’t recall anyone bitching about the corresponding rise in property values since the nabe was, as a result, further gentrified due to the displacement of lower income residents.

    Ya just can’t win with some folks. JW’s are fantastic neighbors, so A.J. does have a point – suppose the City buys the Bossert, Standish or perhaps that monstrous office building on CH and converts it into low income housing, rather than the tax revenue-producing condos and co-ops they’ll in all probability become?

    Been listening to the bitching for 50 years, nothing seems to change.

  • bornhere

    As a young skater and later as a driver, I always looked at the JW as a sort of trade-off group: the new sidewalks on Columbia Heights were great for roller skating; the they’ve-taken-all-the-spaces parking on Willow/Clark/CH was really annoying.

  • Naber

    They keep their properties immaculate, but I am sooo tired of having that Watchtower magazine shoved in my face! Will be very happy when they are gone.

  • John Wentling

    LOL, all ya gotta do is say “no thanks”, they’re not gonna put you in a head lock or anything.

    Parking could get a LOT worse depending on the disposition of the properties. Just might have it really, really good at the moment, if all those properties were to come on the market the “character” of the Heights could change dramatically. I’m a bit worried for the neighborhood.

  • Naber

    John – I have never felt threatened by the JW’s but I find it really offensive and it has gotten old after 10 years. I think the character could actually improve without the proselytizers roaming the streets looking for a few lost souls.

  • nabeguy

    Gotta go with John on this one (even if his initials make me a bit suspicious) Even though they may knock on your door at inconvenient times, the Witnesses are carrying copies of “Awake”, not Uzis. A simple “Sorry, I’m not interested” is enough to send them on their way. And anyone who thinks that their financial influence on the neighborhood has been negligible, talk to the owners of Fascati’s and Michael Town Liquors. Their real estate holdings may be vast, but they’ve always maintained them well and never attempted to exercise more than a benign influence on the area. As John points out, their departure may impact the fabric of the neighborhood in unanticipated ways.

  • Danny Haszard

    The Jehovah’s Witnesses got BIG time sinners and they cover it up.

    FBI Most Wanted Pedophile Jehovah’s Witnesses
    The Open Press (press release) 1-10-09
    McLean used his position as a respected member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses to gain trust,..

    FBI and US marshal service MOST WANTED pedophile in the world was enabled by the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

  • nabeguy

    Danny, I’m not sure exactly what you’re referring to, but in 52 years in the Heights, I can’t remember ever seeing a traditional “nuclear” family in the JW community. Excuse my ignorance, but are couples allowed to propagate and what happens if they do bear children? Are they shipped off to Bethel?

  • Andrew Porter

    I can’t recall how many times JWs have told me that if it were not for them, the Heights would be full of low life scum. As if they never noticed that the neighborhood is full of very expensive real estate, great views, great shopping and an easy commute to Manhattan. For decades they have been expanding their real estate holdings in New York State, and have not only sold off all their holdings south of the main campus on Columbia Heights, with the exception of the Bossert, whose sale only fell through because of the current downturn, but have moved their distribution, paper storage and other in-house activities out of the Heights and NYC.

    I do not believe they will ever erect the massive building they planned to construct in DUMBO. For one thing, it’s perilously close to the East River, as all discussion about climate change makes such a low-lying structure more and more impractical. I imagine they will be completely gone from this area some time in the next 25 years or so.

    The fact that their property is religious in nature and thus not on the tax rolls is irrelevant. There are many properties in this area owned by tax-exempt groups (St. Francis College, the many churches, St. Ann’s School, etc.) and none of them pay real estate taxes, either.