DUMBO’s Iconic Watchtower Building Gets A Slick Makeover As A Huge Office And Retail Campus
Stunning renderings by Kushner & Co reveal the transformation of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ former HQ.
For years it had been a rather nondescript yellow/light beige brick cluster of buildings with hunter green windows. However, new renderings of the former Jehovah’s Witness Watchtower HQ in DUMBO, now owned by Kushner Companies, CIM Group and LIVWRK, show something grey, slick and contemporary.
Retitled Panorama, the five buildings still include the brick and timber structures, built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries but there have been noticeable updates. Staying are the sky bridge, and the double-height assembly spaces. Getting revamped are 635,000-square feet of interconnected office space, most of which has 11-foot high ceilings. In addition, 35,000-square-feet of retail and outdoor space at 25-30 Columbia Heights will cater to arts and cultural events. There will be 20 terraces with views of the East River and Manhattan Skyline.
“Panorama will be more than just a place to work – it will be a thriving community offering the best visibility and views in New York City, world-class office space, and an opportunity for tenants to infuse the campus with their culture from the very start,” Asher Abehsera of Columbia Heights Associates, the development team behind this project, said in a statement. “Panorama will mark a shift in what America’s best companies expect in an urban office setting.”
Kushner, LIVWRK and CIM Group are also developing another former J.W. property at 85 Jay Street. the development team recently announced that they had tapped Morris Adjmi to design the two tower complex which will feature condominiums and rentals over 1.1. million- square feet of space.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses first started putting their sizable Brooklyn holdings up for sale in 2011 having decided to relocate to Warwick NY. In total, all their the buildings were estimated to have sold for over $1 billion. The developers’ earlier purchase at Dumbo Heights opened in 2015 and quickly became a co-working/hipster hub with tenants including Etsy, WeWork and Frog Design. Restaurants include the beach themed Taco Dumbo, Bluestone Lane, Untamed Sandwiches, Glaze Teriyaki and Dig Inn. Going hand in hand with the eateries are the fitness facilities, Shadowbox NYC and Row House.