A rendering of the proposed Brooklyn sign in place of the “Watchtower” sign. Image courtesy of Susanna Briselli.
“Brooklyn is a potent idea as well as a place,” according to Susanna Briselli, who explains in the Brooklyn Eagle that the borough’s name “summons vivid images and associations.” Briselli, who is an artist and photographer, suggests this potent chemistry is a compelling enough reason to create an enormous free-standing illuminated sign that reads “Brooklyn!” The massive work would be used to draw in more visitors and increase value, placed where the soon-to-be removed “Watchtower” sign in Brooklyn Heights now stands, or at another highly visible site such as Pier 7.
A sign of the times
Last summer, developers CIM Group, Kushner Companies and LIVWRK acquired the Jehovah’s Witnesses Watchtower building at 25-30 Columbia Heights in Brooklyn Heights for $340 million. The building, known for its iconic red sign, served as the world headquarters of the religious group for years, but they’re relocating to Warwick, New York. Now, work has begun to turn its three 19th century brick and timber buildings into 635,000 square feet of office space, as well as 35,000 square feet of retail and outdoor areas, as Fast Company reports. The new space will be known as Panorama, for its stunning views of the Manhattan skyline and Brooklyn Bridge.
See renderings of the Panorama complex
Image Kushner Co./LIVWRK
Our newest president’s right hand man got his start—much like Donald Trump—as a New York real estate developer. Kushner Companies is a private family real estate company now run by Jared Kushner, husband of Ivanka Trump and son of Charles Kushner, who founded the firm in 1985. Kushner, as Donald Trump’s son-in-law, was an early partner in his presidential campaign, ultimately serving as a chief advisor. Now that President-Elect Trump has won the White House, the future of Kushner Companies might be up in the air, given Jared’s possible involvement in the new administration. But under him, the firm has evolved from a New Jersey-focused development company to a major New York powerhouse that’s taken on ambitious, high-profile projects across the city.
LEARN ABOUT KUSHNER’S RISE HERE…
AmTrust Realty has recently kicked off construction on a 250,000-square-foot, mixed-use project near Brooklyn’s Manhattan Bridge approach. The development will be a step towards reconnecting Downtown Brooklyn to its waterfront, and, along with several other proposals, helps remedy a maelstrom of mid-century planning disasters between the two areas.
Known as the Jay Street Residences by its designers Woods Bagot Architects, the project has previously gone by the addresses 120 Nassau, 199 Jay, 203 Jay, and 213 Jay Street. Its 38,000-square-foot lot, now under excavation, will give rise to an L-shaped complex composed of a 33-story tower anchoring Concord and Jay Streets, as well as an eight-story hotel and amenity wing along its western Jay Street frontage.
More details on the project here
Jared Kushner and LIVWRK could soon be making their way to Gowanus. According to The Real Deal, the pair are in contract to buy a 133,000-square-foot development site at 175-225 3rd Street, located right across the new 3rd and 3rd Whole Foods market and just around the corner from Lightstone Group’s 700-unit rental project at 363 Bond Street. Currently, the land has 600 feet of frontage and allows for commercial development of up to 300,000-square-feet, but sources say that one-million square feet of residential could be constructed if rezoned.
More details here