Real estate developer Jared Kushner, RFR Realty and LIVWRK Holdings closed Tuesday on five huge Witnesses buildings in Dumbo, and the Wall Street Journal ran a story saying the redevelopment of the properties will transform the Dumbo neighborhood. Kushner said they intend to convert the buildings, once mostly a printing plant for the Witnesses, into a “hub for technology companies.”
The $375,000,000 parcel is 1.2 million square feet, and can offer “bigger and pricier spaces aimed at more mature companies than most in the neighborhood,” said the story. The addresses are 117 Adams Street, 77 Sands Street, 175 Pearl Street, 55 Prospect Street and 81 Prospect Street. The WSJ thinks Dumbo, already the most expensive residential section of Brooklyn and a busy hive of creative firms such as architects and tech startups, will become “a high-profile office destination that competes with neighborhoods like Flatiron and Chelsea.”
Rents are expected to be in the mid-$50s per square foot. That’s about double the going rate for Dumbo now, but still less than Manhattan. The buyers plan to spend about $100 million renovating the buildings. Any conversion of the properties to residential use would require approval from the City Council. The renovation will include parking for as many as 5,000 bikes, outdoor roof space, and 150,000 square feet of retail space for mostly Brooklyn-based companies, said the story. The group also hopes to add pedestrian plazas. LIVWRK Holdings is a new real estate firm started by former Two Trees executive Asher Abehsera.