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Deals & Dealmakers

Florida firm to convert Jehovah’s Witnesses building into luxury senior housing

Florida private equity firm Kayne Anderson Real Estate Advisors has just acquired a residential property owned by the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Photo via Wikimapia
Photo via Wikimapia

Kayne, which invests in off-campus student housing and medical facilities, bought 21 Clark Street, a 16-story building located at in Brooklyn Heights. The firm plans to convert the 310,000 property, which was used by the Jehovah’s Witnesses as a residence for its members, into a luxury senior housing facility.

The property was originally built as the Grand Leverich Towers Hotel. It contains 295 residential units, a lobby, commercial kitchen, dining rooms, offices, community facility space and a 20,000 s/f rooftop terrace. Once the redevelopment is completed, the building is expected to have 75,000 s/f of amenity space.

Kayne, which is partnering with Tucson, Arizona firm Watermark Retirement Communities, will rename the property as The Watermark at Brooklyn Heights.

“Increased demand for urban senior living options, coupled with shifting demographic trends, makes The Watermark at Brooklyn Heights an attractive seniors housing investment opportunity,” said Al Rabil, Kayne’s managing partner and CEO. “Meticulously maintained since its inception in the late 1920s, The Watermark at Brooklyn Heights epitomizes a Class A property with a unique redevelopment opportunity: to introduce modern, luxury living for seniors in Brooklyn and Manhattan.”

Kayne declined to provide financial terms for the deal. However, the Wall Street Journal reported a purchase price of “about $200 million.” A representative for Kayne declined to confirm the figure in the WSJ report.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses put the property on the market last year, according to a previous report from the Real Deal. The move was part of a selling spree for the religious organization as it moved to Warwick, New York. Last year, a joint venture between Kushner Companies, CIM Group and LIVWRK bought the group’s headquarters at 25-30 Columbia Heights.

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