The Society has put up for sale the buildings at 89 Hicks and 67 Livingston (aka Sliver building). The market rate value has been estimated at $1.32-1.37 million for Hicks and $3.45-3.65 for 67 Livingston. It has also been noted that the Society owns 20 residential buildings. See "Watchtower puts Heights buildings on the market" at
The Watchtower Sells More of Its Buildings
Watchtower Puts 2 Heights Buildings on the Market by Linda Collins ([email protected]), published online 03-16-2006 For Sale: 89 Hicks, 67 Livingston (aka Sliver Building)
By Linda Collins
BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York announced yesterday that two of its properties in Brooklyn Heights are on the market. Both residential buildings that were acquired by Watchtower in the late 1980s, they are at 89 Hicks Street and 67 Livingston Street, according to David Semonian of the Office of Public Information.
The property at 89 Hicks was originally built in 1940, Semonian said, and has 48 residential units on six floors, most of them studios with kitchenettes and baths, along with a few one-bedroom units.
The property at 67 Livingston, also known locally as “the sliver building,” was built in 1988 and has 76 units on 26 floors, including one-bedroom and studio apartments, many with terraces.
“We acquired this building [67 Livingston] when it was still under construction,” said Richard Devine, who is in charge of Building Maintenance and Construction for Watchtower. “It was designed to have one condo on each floor. We got it after the shell was completed so we redesigned the interior to have more and smaller units.”
As with the sale of its former waterfront shipping complex at 360 Furman St. (currently undergoing conversion to condominiums and mixed-use), the religious organization is not listing these buildings with realtors, nor is it setting asking prices.
“We are going to let the market determine the price,” Devine said. “We anticipate it will be a private sale between principals, as it was with 360 Furman.”
PropertyShark.com, a Web site for the real estate industry, the market rate value is estimated at $3.45-$3.65 million for 67 Livingston and$1.32-$1.37 million for 89 Hicks.
The Watchtower organization, also known as Jehovah’s Witnesses, is selling the buildings because of a decreased need for housing.
“We’ve, of course, sold 360 Furman and we’ve finished all the work involved in moving operations out of that building, and we’ve sent our printing operations upstate,” said Devine. “All of that lowered the numbers of our staff and therefore we decided to go ahead and let these two buildings go.”
According to Devine, 67 Livingston will be delivered vacant at the time of sale; 89 Hicks will be occupied by the seven original tenants living there when the building was acquired.
In an earlier article in the Brooklyn Eagle, it was reported that the organization had 20 residential buildings in Brooklyn Heights, including two hotels — the Bossert at 89 Montague St. and the Standish at 169 Columbia Heights.
It has also been widely reported that the Watchtower will build a four-tower complex at 85 Jay St. in DUMBO that will include residential — something that could mean the future sale of more such buildings in Brooklyn Heights.
Work has not yet begun on the DUMBO site, according to Devine.
© Brooklyn Daily Eagle 2006
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The market rate value has been estimated at $1.32-1.37 million for Hicks and $3.45-3.65 for 67 Livingston.
Am I missing something? Those prices seem awful low. Sounds like a great bargain, actually.
How many square feet - anyone know?
edited to add: My brother recently bought a little 1300 square foot home for just half of what Hicks sold for. 1.3 in Brooklyn Heights sounds like an amazing bargain to me.
It has also been widely reported that the Watchtower will build a four-tower complex at 85 Jay St. in DUMBO that will include residential —
Yah But the end is so near according to this years convention ......................
Regardless of how much they get out of the buildings, where does the money go?
"The Watchtower organization, also known as Jehovah's Witnesses, is selling the buildings because of a decreased need in housing." Selling...less people to house.
"It has also been widely reported that the Watchtower will build a four-tower complex at 85 Jay St. in Dumbo, that will include residential--...." Building...more people to house.
It goes back into the particular non-profit WTS corporation that had control over the property. The regulations governing non-profit organizations legally prevent the corporation officers from holding shares or being paid a salary or "owning" the property or the cash from the sale.
I surmise that the WTS is having a cash flow problem, is property rich, cash poor. They did build up at Wallkill and transferred some people up there and purchased new equipment selling off the old. I have been told that almost all the printing has been moved out of Brooklyn.
I do wonder about the building project in Brooklyn, if they plan on selling most of the older properties and combining those living in them in the new buildings.
Time will tell.
With them its all about money, why would they do anything elis.
So if they are selling property because The End Is Near™, why would it be better to have cash post-Armageddon™ than real Estate? I can see why property will go down in value in the New World™ because with 6 billion people out of the market the demand will drop.
What about the cash though?
Actually, Clam, the WTS reasons that everything cash and property will be under their control after Armageddon. I don't think they are thinking they will need cash after the Big A (GT). But right now they do. I always wondered back when in 1990 they ended the arrangement where the rank and file paid a direct price for each and every WT publication they got at the counter and it was an honor system, how soon the WTS would start to feel the pinch. Up until then it seemed that the WTS was living on the yearly interest on its holdings...I think now they are dipping into their capital which is a non-ending downward trend.
I do wonder how much the rank and file are being told about this...not much I guess except through the Bethel grapevine.