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.

By Jeff Vasishta June 2, 2017
Images via Columbia Heights Associates/Volley Studio

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.

Related: New Renderings Show The Awesomeness Of The Domino Sugar Factory Mega-Project On Kent Avenue in Williamsburg

“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.

Related: A Tsunami Of New Office Space Is About To Hit The NYC Market

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.

Jeff Vasishta



Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.
How To Choose The Right Real Estate Agent
When it comes to real estate, people seem to feel detached from understanding the intricacies of an industry that has been around since the year…
Five Reasons Why All Entrepreneurs Must Keep Their Eyes On China
It is hard to overestimate the importance of Chinese influence on the modern global economy. Carving out a place in Chinese market and winning over…
Property Listings: Big data vs. The Right data
These days there is no shortage of articles discussing “big data” or “data analytics” as the exponential growth of available information on demographics and consumer…
Property listings: Big data vs. the right data
These days there is no shortage of articles discussing “big data” or “data analytics” as the exponential growth of available information on demographics and consumer…
Just One Click Away: Digital And Mobile Technologies
Web and mobile capabilities are linking real estate professionals, their clients, and properties like never before. The property search process has been re-imagined and real…
New technology will change the real estate industry forever
Wearable devices are trending in technological advancements and are changing the way people share and retrieve information. Recent releases like Samsung’s Galaxy Gear and Google’s…
Greenland USA Develops Residential And Commercial Properties That Exemplify Modern Living
New York City is experiencing an alarming affordability crisis. For low, moderate, and middle income New Yorkers housing has become a serious challenge, all around…
New Retail Strip Is Coming To Astoria Area With A Troubled Past
It seems like a bad coincidence, but the Dutch Kill neighborhood, located in otherwise prosperous Astoria, did manage to live up to its, ahem, colorful…