Today’s news:

Real-estate machers praying for Jehovah’s properties

The Brooklyn Paper

The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ planned pullout from Brooklyn is huge news for the faithful, but it’s even bigger news for the real-estate market.

The Witnesses — known officially as the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society — announced last week that the group will move forward with an $11.5-million residential and administrative headquarters in upstate Warwick, after more than 101 years in the Heights.

Richard Devine, property manager for the organization, said he doesn’t know what will happen to more than 30 first-class properties that the Witnesses own in Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO. Some properties have been on and off the market for years, but now that the sect has officially announced its eventual pull-out, real-estate brokers are chomping at the bit.

“If these properties go on the market — which will take a long time, I imagine — they’ll bring in a lot more residents who will spend in arguably some of the strongest markets in the borough,” said Chris Havens, CEO of Creative Real Estate in the Heights. “The Watchtower is liberally aloof from ordinary spending and interactions in Brooklyn — they don’t spend much money outside the organization.”

But Havens added that the Witnesses won’t start the sell-off right away because the market is bad.

“They have [a vacant lot zoned] for 1,000 units of housing right off the bridge in DUMBO, which is a big deal,” Havens said. “They’ll probably sell it at some point, but they’re smart. They’ve been watching the market literally for decades and we probably won’t see much on the market until the economy is better.”

The new center upstate, which is currently going through the land-use process, would be the culmination of a multi-year retrenchment from Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO. The first step came in 2004, when the Witnesses moved their massive printing plant upstate.

And last year, the Watchtower Society bought a 248-acre site in Ramapo that will be used for offices and some administration, Devine said.

Now, the Witnesses are planning a complex called the World Headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses that will be constructed on the 253-acre Warwick site. More than half of the 1,500-person staff is expected to move the new complex, and will live and work under the same roof.

The upstate exodus for the Witnesses — known for their Bible publishing, their door-to-door conversions and their excellent real-estate savvy — is no big surprise given the group’s explosion of property sales since 2004, including:

• 360 Furman St. — a 14-story building which sold in 2004 for $205 million and was redeveloped as the all-luxury, waterfront One Brooklyn Bridge Park.

• 67 Livingston St. — a 26-story tower which went for $18.6 million in 2006.

• 89 Hicks St. — which was sold to the Brooklyn Law School in 2006 for $14 million.

• 169 Columbia Heights — also known as the Standish Arms, this swanky 12-story building was sold for $50 million in late 2007.

• the Bossert Hotel — the crown jewel of the Witnesses’ real-estate holdings, this Montague Street tower remains on the block after a reported buyer backed away from the deal in 2008.

In addition, three properties on Columbia Heights, one on Willow Street and one on Orange Street have been on and off the market over the years, driven by the fluctuation of the housing market. Devine said that the group still plans to sell those, but doesn’t know yet what would be done with the current headquarters and nearby administrative building (both also on Columbia Heights) once the move is complete.

The new complex’s construction is still in the distant future, but one thing’s for sure — the organization is all about moving forward rather than looking back.

“As an organization, we don’t put any special importance [on our Brooklyn Heights history],” Devine said. “Sure, some feel some sentimental value, and I’ve been here for 30 years. But we’re committed to moving all our operations to one central location.”

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Andrew Porter from Bklyn Hgts says:
You left out the Towers Hotel, originally and ironically constructed as an apartment building before the Depression changed everything, fronting on Clark, Willow and Pineapple Streets.
March 4, 2010, 2:57 am
God from Heaven says:
Pray and the *PREY*

Jehovah's Witnesses controversy in a nutshell:
Cult-like hard core apocalyptic fundy Watchtower is an 1870 splinter group from the William Miller *great disappointment* fallout.
They have kept followers on the edge of the seat and drained them dry after pinning all their hopes and dreams on the always just around the corner post armageddon *paradise".

They took everything from many followers including lots and lots of money.NOW bloated with wealth... all they can do is stagger around and shoot critic messengers and say the Catholic church was worse with it's atrocities and exaggerate some of the few beneficial JW legacies.
They ripped off millions most who just grew old and died so can't say anything back now.
The A number one fear of the Watchtower is bad PR and lawsuits for fraud,just like Scientology same lawyers same spin doctors same shills same everything.

March 4, 2010, 3:13 am
Gerald from Bronx says:
Jehovah's Witnesses are the *perfect storm of deception*
Watchtower manipulative tactics:
[A.] Deny all wrongdoing

[B.] Blame the victim

[C.] Defer/deflect how other religions are worse.

[D.] Use shills to advocate your position

[E.] Bible thump
(here is one for ya)

2 Timothy 3:13 " Evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived"
March 4, 2010, 4:32 am
Stile from NY says:

The Watchtower is fraud and deceit,they payed no taxes and ripped off followers with grandiose end of the world prophecies.
The Watchtower corporation has a volunteer army of trained construction craftspeople to build AND a real estate team to sell and flip theses tax free projects.
They sell off an average of 3 Kingdom Hall units a week and build 3 giving the appearance of growth of membership.
In it's early years Watchtower had scorned the Catholic Church for it's grand opulent cathedrals and now they are desiring the same.
March 4, 2010, 6:53 am
Bob from Uk says:
What a grumpy lot!
March 4, 2010, 12:38 pm
Harmony from Park Slope says:
I think we all know what this means - shopping!

:-)
March 5, 2010, 10:42 am
Jody from 'new world society' says:
I grew up a witness. Got baptized when I was 10 years old. Went to pioneer school when I was older. Then " the light got brighter" ( a common JW quote when questioned why beliefs change so frequently) and I left. It does ruin lives. They prey on the uneducated and less fortunate
I was a pioneer minister and I new so many generations of people who wasted their entire life.
The end was going to come in 1914,1925,1975 The generation that saw 1914 could not pass away until the new order. All the good people who fell for this and are still falling for this it is very sad.
March 6, 2010, 3:34 am
marcey anthis from tumwater says:
I loved your story andy we are all proud of you . I wish you could meet anderson cooper some time. I love you andy grandma.
March 6, 2010, 11:48 pm
Darlene says:
I was a 3rd generation Jehovah's Witness my entire clan was "liberated" of our financial assets by the Watchtower.
March 10, 2010, 3:16 am
Melba from California says:
How misinformed your commetors are! I am proud to say that I have been a Jehovah's Witness for 55 years. We do not prey on anyone for money or membership. All that we do is as a free moral agent. We make the choices.
March 11, 2010, 3:18 pm
Mike from Kingdom Hall says:
I love Jehovah. Always will.
March 11, 2010, 4:15 pm
Tom Kruse from USA says:
Jehovah's Witnesses shill like Scientology say do anything to protect the mother org
March 12, 2010, 2:30 am
Bryan from TX says:
silly apostates,
March 25, 2010, 10:07 pm
God from Heaven says:
Stubborn brainwashed Jehovah's Witnesses Watchtower trolls
March 28, 2010, 7:22 am
steve bournias from waren ohio says:
I lived in NYC for 14 years and worked at the NO2 WTC floor 83 and looked out my east-facing window and was happy to see the Watchtower electric sign reminding people to read the Bible daily. I am 100% in favor of a complete move upstate if that is what God's organization has determined is in its best interest. So bye-bye Brooklyn Heights!
April 4, 2010, 4:24 am
herb talick from bronx says:
which could be why there is a lawsuit now filed in the federal courthouse in san francisco, apparently a group of jehovahs witnesses are being sued for fraud and corruption, case number CV10-3907
Sept. 28, 2010, 10:34 am
Lee from New Orleans says:
It's sad to see folks who claim to be Jehovah's Witnesses and have a chip on their shoulder. I hope those who left Jehovah know what they did and repent of their dead works and come back to Jehovah. Jehovah's Witnesses are not your enemy Satan the Devil is! Jehovah's Name will be sanctified very soon and all will know that Jehovah is the True God. Some comments on this web site are mean and slanderous. Jehovah's Witnesses are a open book and we hide nothing our entire history can be obtained by anyone. Some following JC in the 1st cent turned away from following Jehovah so it is not a shock to see this now truly indicating we are in the last days. Jehovah chariot is on the move Praise Jah.
Dec. 5, 2010, 6:53 pm
muzzled christians. from london says:
hello mellba from calafornia i;ve red your comments you said we dont prey on anyone for money i dont no who you have been talking to i;m from london and when we go to circute assemblys as soon as you walk in the door on your left there always is two sisters with credit and debit card machines waiting to take your money. making you feel guilty . the circuite assembly hall that i go to is owned by the wts yet they ask for £4000 for a 2 day session for expenses.. and upkeep.. . they hold a 2 day assembly every week for different circuites all over uk...so if they charge £4000 per assembly each week..how much do you think there profits are ? you work it out.how is it that that the publishiers pay for a kingdom hall to be built then once thats dun they take your contributions and contributions for printing cost for the world wide work to give money to some brothers that come fare away to give a public talk. the co in our congregation gets £200 per week from each congregation that comes to £800 per month. so who have you been talking to. i could tell you a lot more but i wont the scripture in revelation and i wont tell you what chapter it is because you need to start doing some research your self it looks like you talk but thats all your doing no research a tall on your part. let the person hear what the spirit has to say to the congregation. thats what you need to do. i;m not anoid with you its just that you need to do research to make sure that when your talking you no what your talking about not what you hear from other people. people on these forums have no benefit to lie. i;m sure they have got better things to do with there life. any wa's thankyou.
Dec. 11, 2010, 2:42 pm
Beth from New Jersey says:
It's sad to see Jehovahs's Witnesses act as if anyone who doesn't want to subscribe to their literature has no place with God. You wouldn't know Christ if He slapped you in the face because I guarantee He won't be wearing a Watchtower symbol on His forehead. The Bible specifies not to add one word to it, but you've built a religion on rewriting the Bible three times a month and use it to manipulate people away from their family. Good luck in Warwick!
Dec. 23, 2010, 7:12 pm
Nelson Birdwell from Your Momma, the WTBT$ says:
The WTBT$ is not an open book. Try to get answers on their old light teachings. They wont want to talk about it.

The quickest way to get rid of them from your doorstep? Ask about their contradictory statements about blood, organ transplants, vaccines, rape, pedophilia.

No open book there, especially when it comes to money.
Dec. 23, 2010, 8:08 pm
Lee John from New Jersey says:
Does anybody know if Charlie Russells pyramids still decorate the rooftop?
Dec. 23, 2010, 8:52 pm
Lee John from New Jersey says:
The Watchtower are much better when it comes to financial numbers than chronological ones.
Dec. 23, 2010, 8:58 pm
Timothy Riches from Peel Villiage says:
I am very glad to see that the comments are DECISIVELY on the accurate nature of this WORLDLY organization.

I was also a third generation JW, though it was clear from the start that I would be unsuitable for pioneer work, given my social anxiety and general disinterest in the teachings after the age of 12. I actually got off pretty light, all things considered, never having experienced the horror that so many of my brothers and sisters had endured. In this vein I can forgive the elder brother's remarks (Melba from California) understanding that he is still WELL within the system we rightly call out as FALSE PROPHETS.

Make no mistake, this group has had more than a century of inbreeding, life after life judged before allowing a pairing, an elder's thumb up or down based on "spiritual strength" (conformity) The fundamentalist nature of the group is well known, and that attracts those who are paranoids. New bodies in the new world are promised, capturing many otherwise dysfunctional people. "Witness" the result. :(
Dec. 23, 2010, 9:52 pm
Timothy Riches from Peel Villiage says:
Have a google search for the comment left by steve bournias from waren (sic) ohio. You will find it is a cut/paste. Breadcrumbs of a bethel boy ;) The wolves are about, little sheep!
Dec. 23, 2010, 9:55 pm
Obama? from Brooklyn Heights says:
Problem–Reaction–Solution

Problem–Brooklyn Heights has hotels that have become rundown SROs & filled by City agencies with “undesirables.” Oh my!

Reaction–We must do something about this! But alas, what can be done?

Solution–”Dump” them on the Watchtower at a fraction of what they’re worth! Those clean-cut Witnesses will rid us of the unsavory “undesirables” & make those worthless buildings look spiffy-new again! God bless those Witnesses, they’re so diligent & wholesome!

So who’s to mind years later when those deserving Witnesses make enormous profits on those once “distressed” properties!? God love them!

The anatomy of a scam.
Dec. 24, 2010, 10:28 am
Frank from Ca. says:
I was raised one of Jehovah's Witnesses. As I matured in age it became my personel choice to do so. It was a good way of life. Was I missing something? I thought so--I left the organization for 3-4 years. I searched high and low. Attended many churches. I associated with ex-witnesse's and apostates as well. Read numerous books from ex- witnesses. I returned equipped with a knowledge/experience of what people think they believe is right. The Witnesses are the only organization that works as deligently as it does to follow Gods requirements. In todays churches you can believe as you choose-- and this is the freedom that most love-that most will travel. Most that leave find excuses to avoid living by God's restictions. Just like many choose to ignore traffic laws. Nowwhere and nobody worships and respects Jehovah God like the Witnesses. No one and nowwhere do any understand who Jehovah is and his loving personality.They think they do. Just like I thought I did before I left this loving organization. Witnesses today are imperfect and make mistakes everyday. No diffferent today then when Our Creator dealt with imperfect men all recorded for us the the Bible. My message here is for those searching for the truth and who want to get to know Jehovah.
Jan. 4, 2011, 7:20 pm
HappyJW from Ohio says:
Well said, my brother. I was baptized in 1963, survived my teen-age years and love the fact that I'm still part of this wonderful brotherhood.
Jan. 8, 2011, 12:45 pm
Prefernottosay from NY says:
The Jehovah's Hypocrites, they should be called. They need to be investigated by the law for using child labor upstate, as well as slave labor at their HQ. The reason they're moving is because there's too much likelihood of press attention on these vultures, who prey upon the unfortunate.They pay their workers nothing, and try to separate children from their families, both of which are illegal. When will someone in the law enforcement investigate these false Christians?
March 24, 2011, 9:21 am
Prefernottosay from NY says:
Please, one further comment. These people have ruined families. They ruin lives. They prey especially on the new immigrants, and their ignorance of the law.

The Jehovah's hypocrites are guilty of transporting minors against their will to be employed at their upstate NY (Warwick-Monroe) HQ. Please please have them investigated, soon.
March 24, 2011, 9:22 am
Paul from NY says:
Please investigate these employers of slave labor.
March 24, 2011, 9:23 am
jack van der pluym from australia says:
was a jw for many years, pioneered for ten years, while a jw i was very very happy , they are sincere and know why they beleive as they do , i left because i cannot accept some of their teachings, but all in all i admire them and wish them the best , jack
May 21, 2011, 12:19 am
Hefner from Philippines says:
I have been a witness for 41 years and have never seen or heard any of the crap that people are writing. most of it is due to lack of knowledge of the organization .or they have an ax to grind. if every one was a JW this world would be a very pleasant place to live ,and no more wars. so all the haters keep hating. Satan loves to pick on the sheep like people, or anyone who wants to serve god . look up JWs in wickipidia if you want the truth about them. I read my bible your bible and your Budd's bible and they are all correct. but the people in this world use them for table display only. and most don't have a clue where to find the scriptures on topics of any kind. where I happen to know just about every one by heart. like the one that says no servant of god would go without food. never have I seen or any one in the organization I know has ever seen a member going without food. even though the many religions of the world around me have members starving to death daily ?? that just shows lack of love for your brother. and know one ever mentions the enormous amount of money and help JWS due during crises like the one in Japan.

they are a people who truly love God, family, and neighbor. watchtower.org , jw.org , jw-media.org

June 1, 2011, 9:32 am

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