Saving the best for last: Jehovah’s Witnesses lone-remaining, Brooklyn Bridge–adjacent lot hits market

Saving the best for last: Jehovah’s Witnesses lone-remaining, Brooklyn Bridge–adjacent lot hits market
Watchtower Bible and Tract Society

Talk about a monumental development.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses last week listed its remaining Dumbo property, a huge York Street parking lot next to the Brooklyn Bridge, giving developers that have coveted the site for years a chance to snag one of the nabe’s most conveniently located parcels, according to a real estate expert.

“This is a really fabulous location,” said Chris Havens, a broker for Brooklyn-based commercial realtors TerraCRG. “People have been waiting for it to go on the market for years.”

The triangle-shaped site at 1 York Street, on York and Front streets, is zoned for residential use, and a tower up to 14 stories tall could be erected under current city code.

The Witnesses’ real estate website also notes the buyer could petition the city to permit commercial use there, which would allow a new owner to erect retail space on the ground floor — a move some developers might make in order to court chains that seek massive, destination stores, said the broker, who offered a homeware store as an example.

“I think it’s possible because there are tenants in the market for big retail spaces and they’re very hard to find,” Havens said. “It would work if someone comes up with a Crate and Barrel, or something people would travel to.”

The Witnesses sold another mammoth Dumbo parking lot at 85 Jay Street in December to a team of developers formerly headed by Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, which plans to erect a luxury high-rise on the parcel.

And the religious organization, which is selling its local real estate as it moves its world headquarters upstate, still has several properties on the market in Brooklyn Heights, including “The Towers,” a 16-story building that once was a grand hotel.

But buzz around the York Street lot is building, according to Havens, who said there are several developers eyeing the property — one of the last of its kind in Kings County.

“There are very few development sites of this size left in Brooklyn, and the prime location is hard to find,” he said.

In keeping with its other sales, the Witnesses’ have not set an asking price and will take bids from developers.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill