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Deals & Dealmakers

Kushner JV closes on $300M purchase of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ HQ

A joint venture of CIM Group, Kushner Companies and LIVWRK has acquired 25-30 Columbia Heights, the historic Brooklyn Heights headquarters of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, from Watchtower Real Estate.

The 739,000 s/f property set on 2.3 acres comprises five addresses: 25, 30, 50 and 58 Columbia Heights and 55 Furman Street.

The partnership intends to renovate and reposition the property into a world-class office campus. The property is located steps from the Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge Park, with excellent access to Manhattan.

“We’re always looking to raise the bar for how today’s top companies want to work, and this property will set a new standard,” said Jared Kushner, CEO of Kushner Cos.

“Over the next year, we’ll begin transforming the property into one of the marquee urban office campuses anywhere in the country, let alone New York City.”

“This iconic property, optimally located in a thriving community, has key elements that meet CIM’s investment criteria and further enhances our New York portfolio,” said Avi Shemesh, Co-Founder and Principal of CIM Group.

“LIVWRK is elated and humbled to work on the redevelopment of this portfolio together with Kushner & CIM,” said Asher Abehsera, CEO and Founder of LIVWRK. “We are thrilled to program and reintroduce this real estate into the NYC community.”

The Real Deal reported that the sale price was $340 million.

Kushner Cos. also partnered with LIVWRK, along with RFR, to acquire the nearby Dumbo Heights campus from Watchtower Real Estate in October 2013. In less than three years, the partnership has undertaken a more than $100 million gut renovation to transform the 1 million-square foot site into a cutting-edge creative office campus in Brooklyn.

Kushner Cos. partnered with CIM Group on two notable acquisitions and repositionings in Manhattan: 2 Rector Street, in the Financial District, and 200 Lafayette Street, in SoHo.

For more than a decade, CIM Group has been involved in the New York metropolitan area and this is its first acquisition in Brooklyn.

CIM made its first New York City investment in Manhattan’s Financial District in 2010 with its acquisition of 15 William Street, a 47-story residential condominium. CIM’s other New York City investments include 432 Park Avenue, 737 Park Avenue, Halcyon (at 305 East 51st Street), 47 E. 34th Street, 225 Fifth Avenue, 100 Barclay,  265 – 275 Cherry Street, Corinthian Condominiums, and 5 Hanover Square.

Aside from the two projects in partnership with Kushner Cos., notable properties that CIM has sold include 11 Madison and One Madison Park.

Kushner Cos. has completed more than $14 billion in transactions and $7 billion in acquisitions since 2007. Kushner Cos.’ portfolio includes more than 20,000 multifamily apartments, as well as 13 million square feet of office, hotel, industrial and retail space throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. In 2015 alone, Kushner Cos. completed more than $1.5 billion of transactions.

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