Constructed between 1909 and 1967 by the Jehovah's Witnesses, the properties initially served as the corporate headquarters for the organization and the publishing complex for its Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, which distributed books and periodicals globally. At its peak, the complex churned out 100,000 books and 800,000 magazines daily. In July 2009, however, the Jehovah's Witnesses purchased a plot of land in upstate New York with plans to relocate their world headquarters from the existing complex in Brooklyn to upstate New York.
After purchasing the building in 2013 in partnership with Invesco, Kushner Companies and RFR Realty, LIVWRK embarked on a comprehensive rehabilitation of the complex as an office and retail destination. The redevelopment program includes newly renovated lobbies and roof decks, dark fiber pre-certified for Platinum Wired Certification, modernized elevators, updated heating and cooling systems, augmented security and life safety, and state-of-the-art building management technology. The partnership also successfully orchestrated traffic-calming measures on Sands Street, which will become a pedestrianized plaza with outdoor seating, hardscaping and landscaping, and open-air food and beverage outposts.
Major office tenants to plant their flag at Dumbo Heights include Etsy, WeWork, Frog Design, Alexis Bittar, and Prolific Interactive. Retailers set to open shop on the ground floor include Dig Inn, Row House, Shadowboxing, Untamed Sandwiches, Randolph Beer, and Glaze.