03/16/15 2:30pm

Brooklyn Strand

The parks committee of Community Board 2 will host Claire Weisz, a principal at WXY Studio, who will present the final plan for Brooklyn Strand, a reimagining of the open spaces from Brooklyn Borough Hall to Brooklyn Bridge Park and extending to the NYCHA developments. The plan was devised after a series of stakeholders meetings and a public session co-sponsored by Community Board 2. The project is a collaboration between the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and the office of the mayor, the city’s parks and planning departments, and Brooklyn Bridge Park. The Brooklyn Strand is one aspect of the planned Brooklyn Tech Triangle strategic plan.

Watch a Brooklyn Daily Eagle video from the November public meeting (details of the meeting).

Location: Brooklyn Law School, Feil Hall, Geraldo’s Cafe, 205 State Street (between Boerum Place and Court Street), in Downtown Brooklyn. Please note the non-standard location.
Date/time: Monday, March 16, 2014, 6pm

For more on the Brooklyn Tech Triangle plan, go to brooklyntechtriangle.com.

11/17/14 11:39am


Community Board 2 is hosting a public workshop on the “Brooklyn Strand”, the working name for 21 acres of underutilized and under-programmed parks and plazas that begins at the Brooklyn Bridge and extends through the center of Downtown Brooklyn to Brooklyn Borough Hall (or vice versa). The Brooklyn Strand includes Cadman Plaza, Walt Whitman Park, the Korean Veterans Plaza, Columbus Park, and various vacant municipal lots and lawns.

As part of the Brooklyn Tech Triangle strategic plan, which was unveiled in June 2013, these spaces have the potential to serve as a connecting point between two borough-wide destinations (Brooklyn Bridge Park and Downtown Brooklyn) and many neighborhoods (Brooklyn Heights, Dumbo, Fort Greene, Downtown Brooklyn, etc.).

The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, in conjunction with the Mayor’s office, Brooklyn Bridge Park, NYC Parks, and City Planning have engaged the urban architecture firm WXY Studio to solicit feedback from the public to understand the current uses, wishes, and opportunities for the open spaces along the Brooklyn Strand. From their work with the stakeholders, WXY will create an action plan for the open space, with the goal of submitting a conceptual plan to the Public Design Commission in 2015.

Community Board 2 strongly encourages everyone to review and comment on the work of WXY Studio. For more on the “Brooklyn Strand”, see brooklyntechtriangle.com/4-dynamic-places-for-tech.

Brooklyn Tech Triangle Strategic Plan

Brooklyn Tech Triangle Strategic Plan

Public Workshop: Thursday, November 20, 2014; Ingersoll Community Center, 177 Myrtle Avenue at Prince Street, Brooklyn

03/13/14 2:32pm


The Lower East Side Ecology Center with Dumbo Improvement District is hosting an e-waste event on Saturday, March 22. Drop off your unwanted or broken electronics during their spring e-waste collection event at the Pearl Street Triangle in Dumbo.

They will accept working & non-working computers, monitors, printers, scanners, keyboards, mice, cables, TV’s, VCR’s, DVD players, phones, audio/visual equipment, cell phones, and video gaming equipment. They do not accept any household appliances including microwaves and other kitchen appliances.

For more program and data security information, please check the Ecology Center’s FAQs. If you have additional questions, please email or call (212) 477-4022.

The spring e-waste collection events are sponsored by Tekserve.


Saturday March 22, 2014, 10am-4pm (rain or shine)
Pearl Street Triangle, Pearl Street between Front Street and Water Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201

10/08/13 8:00am
Map courtesy of WSJ

Map courtesy of WSJ

The Wall Street Journal reported that five of six properties acquired by the partnership including Jared Kushner, a 32-year-old real estate developer and technology investor, closed on Wednesday in a $375 million deal. The details of the deal was first reported in July 2013. The sixth building, 90 Sands Street, the hotel building will close in 2017. Mr. Kushner said they plan to convert the set of buildings into a hub for technology companies.

The WSJ article has some key information about the six former Jehovah’s Witness’ Watchtower Bible and Tract Society properties:

  • The 1.2 million-square-foot complex will be at least 50% offices, said a person familiar with the matter, with bigger and pricier spaces aimed at more mature companies than most in the neighborhood.
  • $100 million renovation of the buildings, accommodating up to 5,000 bikes, creating outdoor roof space, allowing for 150,000 square feet of retail space occupied almost entirely by Brooklyn companies and installing state-of-the-art Internet connectivity.
  • Mr. Kushner, chief executive of Kushner Companies, said the developers would work with the city to try to convert some area streets into pedestrian plazas. “We saw these buildings as an opportunity to really create a great campus-like environment,” Mr. Kushner said.
  • Rents at the tech campus would be in the mid-$50s per square foot, according to people familiar with the matter. That would make them about double the rents in the rest of Dumbo, and about $10 below rents for hip Manhattan spaces.
  • “We would make more money if we did the whole thing as residential, but we would have less fun,” Mr. Kushner said.
  • Mr. Kushner and his partners would need to rezone parts of the property they would convert to residential use, which requires approval from the local City Council member, Stephen Levin.

These buildings will be a key part of the Brooklyn Tech Triangle plan and will strengthen Dumbo’s (and Brooklyn’s) stature as a technology hub. According to a recent study, rapid job growth has made the city’s tech and information industry the second-largest contributor to the private sector economy by wages. The additional 1.2 million square-foot complex, along with the newly opened Made in NY Media Center in Dumbo, will add more technology and media companies to the area.

{The Witnesses Remove Signs from Watchtower Buildings in Dumbo, 27Aug2013}
{Jehovah’s Witnesses Sell Dumbo Properties for $375 Million, 08Jul2013}
{Brooklyn Tech Triangle Unveils Plans to Expand and Support Tech Ecosystem, 19Jun2013}
{Mayor Bloomberg Unveils the Made in NY Media Center in Dumbo, 01Oct2013}

07/08/13 2:39pm

Prospect Street

(55 Prospect Street on the near left, 117 Adams Street on the near right, 81 Prospect Street on the far left, 77 Sands Street on the far right)

Real estate investment firm RFR and Kushner Companies today announced that they have entered into a contract to acquire six properties in Brooklyn from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society for $375 million. According to the press release (July 8, 2013), Jared Kushner (of Kushner Companies), Aby Rosen (of RFR), and Asher Abehsera (a former Two Trees Management Company executive) teamed up to purchase the portfolio of buildings which total 1.2 million square feet of commercial space. The buildings include:

  • 117 Adams Street
  • 175 Pearl Street
  • 55 Prospect Street
  • 81 Prospect Street
  • 77 Sands Street
  • 90 Sands Street

These buildings are included as part of the Brooklyn Tech Triangle master plan and could be key buildings in the development of the plan for creating appropriate commercial space and connectors between Dumbo, Navy Yards, and Downtown Brooklyn.

90 Sands Street is a 30 story, 500+ room residential building will be turned over vacant at closing in September, according to a NY Post story.

According to the Post, the Jehovah’s Witnesses moved their headquarters to Brooklyn in 1909. As part of their plans to move to Warwick, NY, they have been selling off a 34-building portfolio, including lots in Dumbo at 173 and 177 Front Street as well as 200 Water Street in April 2013.

175 Pearl Street

(175 Pearl Street)

Full moon over 90 sands
(90 Sands Street, Photo by a.pitch)

{The Watchtower Moving Some Operations from Brooklyn, 26Mar2009}
{Watchtower Properties in Dumbo?, 29Sept2011}
{Jehovah’s Witness Buildings Could Offset Brooklyn Bridge Park Costs, 08Oct2010}