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Site of 85 Jay Street/ 160 Front Street in red; Image courtesy of Jehovah's Witnesses Site of 85 Jay Street/ 160 Front Street in red; Image courtesy of Jehovah's Witnesses
After months of uncertainty and rumors surrounding the site at 85 Jay Street, plans have been filed for a 21-story, 737-unit mixed-use residential development, The Real Deal first reported. Just this past May, Morris Adjmi was tapped to design the project which is now sure to be a mix of condos and rentals, according to the floor schedule of the permit. What else can we expect from the DUMBO project developed by Kushner Companies, LIVWRK and CIM Group? A yuuuge amount of amenities.

Permits call for 712 parking spaces, valet services, a laundry room, storage, bike storage, a courtyard, package room, mail room, library, two separate swimming pools for the condo and rental residents, and a roof terrace on the 9th floor. There will also be two main amenity spaces on the 8th floor (different sectors) that both consist of a lounge, game room, great room, screening room, kids room, outdoor lounge, and grill area. Most apartments will have either terraces or roof terraces and penthouses will start on the 19th floor and continue to the top.
CityRealty A drilling rig has appeared on 85 Jay's now-vacant site; CItyRealty
Overall, the development will feature 60,017 square feet of commercial space and a 1,154-square-foot community space on the 1st floor as well as a whopping 812,978 square feet of residential space starting on the 2nd. The developers closed on the site, home to a three-acre parking lot, back in December for $345M.
The valuable site bound by Jay, Bridge, Front and York streets was purchased from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York (better known as the Jehovah's Witnesses). The site was previously used by its church members who, over the past several years, steadily reduced its Brooklyn presence in preparation to move their entire operation upstate. Directly north of the site a 105-unit rental at 181 Front Street is under construction, and one block west, the Jehovah's Witnesses recently sold a site at 69 Adams Street to the Rabsky Group.
85-jay-2 Previous plans drafted by Beyer Blinder Belle for the Jehovah Witnesses
In 2004, the Jehovah' Witnesses secured a city rezoning of the 135,000-square-foot property that would allow for residential uses. The organization planned to build four 9- to 20-story dormitory buildings designed by Beyer Blinder Belle. According to the Brooklyn Paper, the complex would have had 1,000 one-bedroom apartments, a three-story assembly hall, a 1,600-person dining facility and a 1,100-car parking garage. There would be no commercial retail, however. While it was hoped that the plan would begin construction by 2006, the organization never moved forward with plans.
Last year, Kushner with CIM and LIVWRK bought the organization’s Columbia Heights headquarters for $340 million, and in 2013, Kushner with LIVWRK and RFR shelled out $373 million for the Witness’ printing buildings located upland across the BQE. Those buildings are now part of the commercial hub known as Dumbo Heights, and signed tenants include Etsy and WeWork.
Last month, Jared Kushner stepped down from his role as CEO of Kushner Companies as he transitions into role as Senior White House Advisor in his father-in-law’s presidential administration.
Conceptual massing based on approved zoning; CityRealty
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