Jehovah's Witnesses and Watchtower provide Shelter and relief to poor of leaving...

by Balaamsass2 20 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Balaamsass2

    After over 100 years...Watchtower helps the poor of leaving!! :)

    Jehovah's Witnesses Hotel Becomes Affordable Housing

    Developed by Breaking Ground, 90 Sands brings new housing opportunities to Brooklyn.

    A former Jehovah’s Witnesses hotel has been converted into 491 affordable and supportive housing units in New York City.

    Of the 491 apartments at 90 Sands, 185 are affordable to a wide range of New Yorkers, from extremely low- to moderate-income households, and 305 units are home to formerly homeless individuals.Photography by Wes TarcaOf the 491 apartments at 90 Sands, 185 are affordable to a wide range of New Yorkers, from extremely low- to moderate-income households, and 305 units are home to formerly homeless individuals.

    The opening of 90 Sands marks the fourth hotel conversion by Breaking Ground, the city’s largest supportive housing developers.

    “We are thrilled to open 90 Sands at such a critical time for New York City to abate a relentless homelessness crisis and provide much-needed housing for low-income and formerly homeless New Yorkers,” said Brenda Rosen, president and CEO of Breaking Ground. “Over the course of two years, the redevelopment of 90 Sands remained on schedule and in turn was scaled for impact to help more than 300 people leave homelessness behind and find dignity and security with a home of their own. Our first hotel conversion project to open amid the pandemic, 90 Sands advances key goals of equity and inclusion, bringing an additional 185 affordable apartments for New Yorkers with extremely low to moderate incomes in one of the city’s most expensive neighborhoods.”

    Rosen added that the organization is grateful to New York City mayor Eric Adams, the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), and its other partners to bring the project to life.

    90 Sands was previously a residential hotel operated by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society until August 2017, and Breaking Ground purchased the hotel in August 2018 for $170 million. For the acquisition, Breaking Ground received $2 million from the New York City Council, a $155 million loan from HPD, and a $10 million grant from Enterprise Community Partners. Breaking Ground provided a $6.7 million sponsor loan to finance acquisition and pre-construction costs. The Leviticus Fund also provided $1.5 million in pre-construction financing. Subsequent to the acquisition, Breaking Ground obtained a zoning change for the project in 2020 after an approval pursuant to the city’s land-use review procedure.

    Financing for the renovation and repositioning of the building as supportive and affordable housing included 501(c)(3) and taxable bonds totaling more than $70.4 million issued by the New York City Housing Development Corp. (HDC). HDC provided an additional $6 million in capital subsidy.

    Construction financing was also supported by a grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York’s Affordable Housing Program. JPMorgan Chase provided a construction letter of credit. Monadnock Construction is the general contractor, Beyer Blinder Belle is the project architect, and W Architecture and Planning designed the public plaza space at the corner of Jay and Sands streets.

    Key philanthropic support for the project has enabled Breaking Ground to create new supportive and affordable housing at 90 Sands, most prominently a $3 million lead grant from Wells Fargo. Additional support was provided by Deutsche Bank’s DB SHARE program and National Grid.

    Of the 491 apartments at 90 Sands, 185 are affordable to a wide range of New Yorkers, from extremely low- to moderate-income households, and 305 units are home to formerly homeless individuals. One unit is for a building superintendent. Half of the units, 246, are permanently affordable, and the balance are affordable under a 60-year regulatory agreement. The 30-story building features a 24-hour attended lobby, a security camera system throughout, a multipurpose room for community events and meetings, a digital library, a fitness room, and extensive bike storage.

    Breaking Ground worked closely with the Adams administration to implement a unique pilot program that allows for the direct referral of homeless clients from street outreach and transitional housing programs to a supportive apartment at 90 Sands. This streamlined process, made possible by cross-agency collaboration, cuts the time it typically takes to complete a permanent housing placement by more than two months.

    The Center for Urban Community Services (CUCS) will provide on-site social services. Breaking Ground and CUCS have a longstanding partnership, and 90 Sands marks their 12th building together to provide housing and on-site support for formerly homeless individuals and families. Services provided at 90 Sands will be available to all tenants and will include: case management, primary medical care, mental health services, employment readiness, and benefits counseling.

    The development also includes a newly activated plaza for public use, adding a new green space to the downtown Brooklyn and DUMBO communities. Breaking Ground plans to bring in community-serving uses to occupy more than 20,000 square feet of community facility and commercial space on the ground floor and lower level."

  • Balaamsass2

    More coverage on JWs' blessings for New York.

  • LongHairGal


    Well, I am glad something good for the world and the non-JW community came out of this.

  • Balaamsass2

    Yes, Long haired gal. :)

    Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.

    Oscar Wilde

  • FragrantAddendum

    did wt ever address the matters brought up in this letter?

    "Dear Mr. Devine,

    We understand that the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society plans to sell many of its remaining properties in DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights, including the large site at 85 Jay Street. We write to seek the Watchtower’s commitment that before leaving the neighborhood, the Watchtower will fulfill its obligation and make good on its promise to make significant contributions to the surrounding communities. This includes, but is not limited to, the renovation of the Bridge Parks in DUMBO and Vinegar Hill, to which you previously committed, plus additional commitments to desperately needed local infrastructure.

    At the time of the 2004 rezoning, approved after a lengthy public process, the Watchtower stated that it sought additional development rights in order to construct a new world headquarters in Brooklyn. Significant additional density, now worth many millions of dollars to the Watchtower and any future developer, was granted upon the express representations by the Watchtower that it would be used for construction of this not-for-profit center.

    As elected officials and community stakeholders, we weigh the impact of development carefully and work closely with the local community boards, the Borough President, the Department of City Planning, and other City agencies to ensure that there is commensurate public benefit and infrastructure investment and improvement included with any new residential and commercial density. Certainly, we would seek to strike such a balance with a rezoning of the size that was granted to the Watchtower in 2004.

    Now that the Watchtower plans to relocate to upstate New York and sell its properties for the highest and best use allowed by zoning (i.e. market rate housing), the Watchtower stands to make potentially hundreds of millions of dollars while generating no public benefits for residents of the surrounding neighborhoods.

    This is frankly unacceptable and goes against the public commitments that the Watchtower made in 2004. Just steps from the development site at 85 Jay Street lies Bridge Park II, which is mapped parkland. In a letter dated November 29, 2004 the Watchtower makes clear its commitment to renovate Bridge Park II by saying “we have agreed to, and have begun working with the Parks Department, to provide for the renovations of Bridge Park II.” It is unacceptable that since the Watchtower committed to work with the Parks Department, over eleven years have passed, the site has seen no improvements, and remains a piece of barren asphalt. The commitments that the Watchtower made in 2004 were explicit, and the Watchtower is duty-bound to renovate Bridge Park II.

    Across from the 85 Jay Street site lies an entrance to the York Street Subway Station. The Watchtower made commitments to improve security and lighting at the York and Jay Street intersection, as well as for security cameras and patrols in the vicinity. We are glad the Watchtower acknowledged at the time that added density and activity in the neighborhood would tax an already strained infrastructure, but neglecting to fulfill the promise is unacceptable.

    Additionally, as 85 Jay Street was to be used for not-for-profit use only, there were no commitments to provide affordable housing as part of the 2004 rezoning. This means that if 85 Jay Street is conveyed to a residential developer under the current zoning, that developer will be under no obligation to build a single unit of affordable housing. This would be a terrible outcome for the community, as the affordable housing shortage in Brooklyn and throughout the City has reached a crisis point. If 85 Jay Street were rezoned today, it is very likely that affordable housing would be required in some form. In addition, given the neighborhood’s thriving tech and creative sectors, a mix of zoning to also encourage the construction of office space would also merit consideration.

    Lastly, the communities surrounding the Watchtower’s properties are grappling with a host of education and equity issues as the residential population has grown rapidly in recent years. There is an overcrowding crisis in local elementary schools. New residential development on this site will bring even more school-age children to the area, making the need for forward-thinking school capacity planning and investment even more urgent. The current plan does nothing to address this pressing community need.

    Brooklyn and the City of New York have provided a welcome home for the Watchtower’s world headquarters for decades, and the Watchtower has been a good neighbor during that time. The Watchtower has said it intends to leave, and it appears that it will do so with potentially more than $1 billion in proceeds from property sales, thanks in large part to the value created by the City through the 2004 rezoning. We feel it is appropriate to suggest that now is the time to take action to leave these communities with a legacy worthy of the Watchtower.

    We respectfully request that the Watchtower meet with us in the coming days to discuss the sale of the properties and identify a plan that both fulfills the intent of rezoning and meets the commitments made to the community.

    Stephen T. Levin Council Member, 33rd District
    Laurie A. Cumbo Council Member, 34th District
    Alexandria Sica Executive Director DUMBO Improvement District
    Letitia James New York City Public Advocate
    Velmanette Montgomery 25th Senate District
    Doreen Gallo Director, DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance
    Daniel Squadron 26th Senate District
    Jo Anne Simon, 52nd Assembly District
    Aldona Vaiciunas President, Vinegar Hill Neighborhood Association

  • NotFormer

    Why am I not surprised that the WT would renege on a commitment and not keep their word. It's almost as if they believe that it is okay to lie! 😳🙄 🤥

  • FragrantAddendum


    wt players -

    lying is par for the course!

  • ThomasMore

    It may be time for the AG to examine WTC's tax exempt status.

  • FragrantAddendum

    wt has been in breach of their charter since their founding

    "the purpose for which the corporation is formed is the dissemination of BIBLE TRUTHS"

  • WokenfromJWcult

    They call it Spiritual Warfare

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