Buyer of Witness Assets Revealed!

Sugar Hill Capital Partners has purchased 50 Orange Street in Brooklyn Heights for $7.1 million from the Jehovah’s Witness-operated Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, brokers have revealed.

50 orange street Buyer of Witness Assets Revealed!

50 Orange Street.

Sugar Hill, according to its website, is a real estate investment firm that focuses on Brooklyn and Manhattan assets with repositioning potential. A spokeswoman for the firm, Aliza Weinstein, confirmed the company had purchased the building but declined to comment any further.

Fifty Orange Street is a five story, 15,355-square-foot, multi-family building with 20 residential units, an equal mix of ten studios and ten one bedroom apartments. The building had been used to house members of the Jehovah’s Witness organization, which owns about three-million-square-feet of residential and commercial office space in Brooklyn and operates its world headquarters in the area. According to recent reports, the organization is considering liquidating its substantial real estate holdings in the city and relocating to Upstate New York.

Robert Knakal, chairman of the real estate brokerage company Massey Knakal, handled the sale and said that the property was especially desirable because it was offered by the seller fully vacant. Usually properties of this type and in prime locations have rent stabilized tenants, he said, which can impact value because these types of tenants pay lower-than-market rental rates.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses also take excellent care of their real estate holdings, Mr. Knakal noted—and 50 Orange Street was in pristine condition. According to a release issued by Massey Knakal, the property was renovated by the religious group in 2006.

“We didn’t set a specific price [marketing the property],” Mr. Knakal said. “We received a ton of interest. About a hundred buyers took a look at this building, which is a lot. It was clearly very highly sought after because of the location, it was vacant and the Jehovah’s Witnesses keep their properties in immaculate condition.”

Mr. Knakal is in the process of marketing two other Jehovah’s Witness properties in the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood: 183 and 161 Columbia Heights. The former is a seven-story, 13-unit, vacant apartment building that boasts approximately 15,000 square feet. 161 Columbia Heights, meanwhile, is smaller—about 7,500 square feet—and has seven fair-market apartments, one that is rent stabilized and two that are rent controlled. Mr. Knakal said the two properties are nearing a sale and estimated that they would trade for roughly $7.1 million and $3.5 million respectively.

Busy through the downturn in the real estate market, Mr. Knakal predicts that sales will pick up in 2012.

“Financing is plentiful and at low rates and the likelihood that capital gains rates will rise after next year will drive sellers to put properties on the market,” Mr. Knakal said. “I think that 2012 will be a fantastic year.”

In addition to the Brooklyn buildings he is handling for the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mr. Knakal is currently in the process of marketing a larger deal in the Bronx. 385 Gerard Avenue, a 410,000-square-foot warehouse, is on the market and could trade for as much as $45 million, Mr. Knakal said. According to Mr. Knakal, the property offers potential buyers an opportunity to convert the space to another use, such as residential, or maintain the asset as an industrial property.

Daniel Geiger, Staff Writer, is reachable at and can also be followed at


  1. Dackumus says:

    No wonder the properties are cared for so well, almost equal to slave labor pay

  2. brooklyn500 says:

    The only reasons these buildings are kept in ‘immaculate condition’ is because the Watchtower is known to use slave labor. Followers are guilted into giving up their lives, educations and careers in order to clean toilets and wash windows for a tax-free religious cult. In return, they’re told they will get ‘everlasting life’. Ha! It’s one of the biggest bamboozles in religious history and it’s happening right under our noses.

    1. nowhereElse says:

      Please read my reply under”nowhereElse” below

  3. Apartments may be “well cared for” – but have you ever seen one?  No kitchen, not enough room for a bed, except a wall bed.  They will need some serious re-modeling.  

    Slaves who worked there were told they were worth the price of a stamp to send them home, should they misbehave in any fashion.

    1. Alexis Klatt says:

      I like your lies Lucy.  Nobody in their right mind that personally knows anything about the organization believes this propaganda.  What is your dog in the fight anyway.  What do you have to offer,for the solution to mankind’s problems?

      1. Isnrblog says:

        Lucy doesn’t lie. As a JW from birth and for most of my life, (50 years. I’m 60 now) I was at Bethel for two years. We worked hard and for little money. As I recall our monthly stipend was about $40. We had a room, food, laundry and most of our needs covered, but the  laundry, food and cleaning people also made $40/month.

        Just because Jehovah’s Witnesses offer a “solution to mans problems” doesn’t mean that the observation of anyone who doesn’t  is somehow irrelevant. It also doesn’t mean that JW’s have “the only real solution to mankinds problems”.

        JW’s have predicted the end of the world incorrectly so many times I finally saw how foolish I was in believing anything they said.

        Lucy remains correct and Alexis is still deluded.

      2. lared says:

        It is obvious that your relationship was with men (an organization) and not with God himself.  You would have been let down if you were an Israelite as well as a 1st century Christian.  A truly spiritual person does not allow what men do or say hinder their continual doing of God’s will.  —  Sad, that the whole life of one who left Jehovah is a bitter one….at least that is how one comes across continually.

      3. Isnrblog says:

        Lared, after a lifetime of reading stuf like the following, I came to my senses. You shoudl too.

        Concerning Armageddon coming in 1975 a quote from “Our Kingdom Ministry”, May 1974, page 3:

        “Yes, since the summer of 1973 there have been new peaks in pioneers every
        month. Now there are 20,394 regular and special pioneers in the United States,
        an all-time peak. That is 5,190 more than there were in February 1973! A
        34-percent increase! Does that not warm our hearts? Reports are heard of
        brothers selling their homes and property and planning to finish out the rest
        of their days in this old system in the pioneer service. Certainly this is a
        fine way to spend the short time remaining before the wicked world’s end.—1 John

        What, you sold your house. quit your job, sold your stocks, quit college? Hey,
        who told you to do that?

        Again in 1971, they said Armageddon would come in the
        20th century: ”Shortly, within our twentieth century, the “battle in the day of
        Jehovah” will begin”. From: The Nations Shall Know That I Am Jehovah – How?
        1971 p. 216”

        All my life I was taught that Armageddon would come within the life span of the 1914 generation: Watchtower, 7/1/69 pg395:

        “People who were only just old enough to understand what was happening to the
        world in 1914 are now approaching seventy years of age. Yes, the numbers of
        that generation are dwindling fast, but before they all pass away this system
        must meet its end in the war of Armageddon.”

        None of the above happened and as of 1995, the above 1914 thing is wrong.

        So, keep on with you delusion,  Lared. Jehovah’s Witnesses are false prophets as proved from you own literature.

      4. lared says:

        Sorry that you focused so much attention on imperfect humans.  You would not have done too well as an Israelite or even a first century Christian either.  Israelite kings and priests were often rife with hypocrisy and wrong doing, and just take a look at the denunciations of many Christian congregations in Revelation 2 & 3.  Remember, we serve Jah and not men.  Don’t be so intrigued by the letter of the law but by the spirit of the law.

      5. Isnrblog says:

        Interestingly, Lared, the Bible says nothing specific about the events the Witnesses said would happen. So, by believing what they say who’s following men? That would be you.

        So what is the “spirit of the law here?” Follow the Watchtower Society even if it’s wrong on so many predicitons? Why is that?

        I notice your only defenses are the “following men” thing and “the Society is imperfect.
         You do not, as you cannot with facts dispute the fact that they are false prophets.

        Simply stated, they were wrong on all the above occasions.

        Tell me Jared, would Jehovah’s mouthpiece be wrong, just once? Would Jehovah’s mouthpiece be wrong multiple times? At some point wouldn’t a reasonable person begin to question their authority.

        If another religion said the above, the Witnesses would be quick to point out their false prophesies.

        Are you really that deluded? I was you Lared. I know how you think. And yes, you remain deluded in the face of irrefutable facts about the false calims from your religion as I was for far to long.

      6. lared says:

        Have you thought about working in a hospital?

      7. nowhereElse says:

        I’ve been a servant of Jehovah, a pioneer for 30 yrs. and its truly sad when i see someone take issue with zealous, thoughmistaken views that even early christians had!!! the apostle Paul had to correct wrong views among the brothers 2 tim.2:18 shows he had to correct their wrong view of the resurrection,john21:21-23 shows the bros. spreading wrong info. about john among other bros. clearly there
        wrong views did NOT discredit them in God’s eyes. They did not even have a correct understanding of where the kingdom was going to be !!! thus truthful knowledge was to be on going ,progressiveAnd ANY of our service given to Jehovah God is based on love for him & is VOLUN-TARY.  We are moved to do so, as his SON was & his disciples-and they were NOT PAID!!!!!!!!! NO ONE can deny the UNITY
        we alone-not merely a claim- have GLOBALLY!!!  i came out of these other re-ligions there is no comparison-despite the imperfections of others

      8. cityreview says:

        I think the important thing to note from most of these comments is: whoever you are, your not really following a Christ like example in your speech. You come off sounding bitter and people in general don’t respond to that. We all are responsible for our own actions and words so maybe you should pay more attention to your own issues that are creating such bitterness. God did not do that to you – man did.

        And I do believe that Bethel is a “volunteer only” organization. Anyone can leave – it’s not a slave camp. Reading these posts made me more disgusted with the attitudes of you people and these are the types of attitudes that in general – we should all stay away from.

        It’s such an ugly thing to be unkind and bitter.

      9. Isnrblog says:

        Just another note, Lared. Jehovah’s Witnesses claim to be God’s organization. You know full well the Watchtower Society says that you can’t get to know Jehovah except through his “mouth piece”, which is of course them.

        So your “rebuttal” confuses me. Look in your own literature. Are they his “mouthpiece?” They claim to speak for Jehovah. Try telling your Elders that anything the Society says is wrong and see where that gets you. How about disfellowshipped which is a condition where, by the decision of three Elders you are cut off from Jehovah.

        Circular reasoning my friend. The Watchtower, by their cliams are joined at the hip with Jehovah.

      10. lared says:

        I guess you would have sided with Korah as Moses was the mouthpiece of Jehovah as well.  Yes, good ole imperfect Moses.  He botched up so bad, he was denied entrance into the promised land.

      11. Isnrblog says:

        If he was obviosly a false prophet, yes.

        If anyone said the following I would not follow them:

        From: The
        Nations Shall Know That I Am Jehovah – How? 1971 p. 216”

        ”Shortly, within our
        twentieth century, the “battle in the day of Jehovah” will begin”.
        This and many other things the Witnesses said did not happen and yet Lared stills defends them and follows them.
        Who’s the fool in this scenario, Lared?

      12. Skidmcgoo9912 says:

        Yawn. Welcome to volunteer work. Would you refer to Peace Corps or Teachers without Borders as slave labor?

      13. HI808 says:

        If you could only hear yourself.  Why did you waste space in Bethel.  You know how many of the brothers would have loved to serve in Bethel even in your time?  It just shows how immature even at 60 you are and unappreciative to. You knew from the start how much dedication it would take on your part and how the financial part of your life would be before you entered Bethel, don’t be lying and criticizing.  Why didn’t you go and find you a job instead of living off the organization???!!!  If you didn’t want to be one of JW’s you had a CHOICE!!!   If at age 25 you couldn’t decide if you wanted to remain as a member of JW’s then the problem lies with you! You could have left years ago so don’t go putting down the religion after you went out and preached and teached…

      14. Anonymous says:


        If you were at Bethel, and you say you were, then you knew what to expect before volunteering to go.  You did not communicate to the readers that you volunteered to go and before you did you also knew you would be paid nothing (that’s $0.00), but would receive a $40 stipend each month (at that time).  You also knew you could leave at any time, there are no contracts.

        Everyone at Bethel and branch offices worldwide is a volunteer, who receives nothing, except of course the privilege and joy of knowing that they are doing something for their God Jehovah and their brothers worldwide, which to most is high pay indeed.  

        Thus, when Alexis says that Lucy is not being truthful in representing that Bethel workers are slaves, she is entirely correct.  Slaves do not volunteer and they cannot leave at any time.  

        It is one thing to look back on life’s choices and regret them, it is quite another to mis-characterize facts to disparage others.

      15. Jody Fathom says:

        Apostate Alexis Klatt Jehovah Witness Apostate Canada

  4. lared says:

    You negative commentators have a sick and twisted obsession.  Time to move on.  Your parallel with slavery is an insult to all previous slaves throughout history as well as an insult to all around the world that serve as volunteers.  Life is not all ‘about me’ and ‘what can I get out of it?’.  No matter what you say…J.W.’s continue to grow and flourish and here in another country…J.W.’s are totally well respected. 

    1. Terry Webb says:

      This Jehovah’s Witness religion makes a big deal about it not ‘taking collection plates’ at assemblies or Kingdom Hall meetings. 
       Yet they encourage brainwashed elderly people to leave their estates to its financial holdings and they “guilt goad guilt trip” everyone who is a member to do everything for the corporation for free.
      A collection plate is nickles and dimes compared to the charitable giving article they publish in the Watchtower suggesting that members donate their estate, jewelry, stocks and investments to the corporation. See the Watchtower of November 2007 and it will show that this is true. Go to a JW convention and see they have “contribution” boxes at every egress. Why settle for some meager chump change in a plate when you can go after the big bucks of an estate? What a religious racket!

      1. Alexis Klatt says:

        What church do you belong to Terry?

      2. Dan says:

        Alexis to suggest you belong to a church is blasphemy – cult is a more realistic term for anything Witness.

    2. Dackumus says:

      Dear Lared, after 28 years in the Org, I must say, that the obsessed twisted obsession was the Org’s well documented vitriol of “Christendom.” If readers, especially outside of the confines of the JW Org, picked up random magazines and numerous other publications disseminated by the WTBTS, the words you used could very well implicate your leaders and those who take them door to door.
      The “world” has received the WTBTS’S tongue lashing for about 150 years, but, Frankly, after so many years of supporting the Org’s vitriol, instead of holding you accoutable for trying to defend your mis-lead religion,  I apologize to all the people I ever approached in this door to door ambush with its harsh rhetoric.

      But, Lared, where’s your love; agape. Why not defend your religion with agape instead of reacting to people with cognizant dissonance? 

      1. Alexis Klatt says:

        What religion has the truth Dackumus?  Did you find the true Christians, who are walking their talk?  If so why don’t you share this with us?

      2. Dan says:

        Alexis – how is it that after 1,000’s of years someone just happens to stumble across the one true faith, borrowing bits from others faiths (that have in turn done the same)? And its an extreme interpretation to say the least.

        And if its True, wouldn’t God be incredibly disappointed in you lot? You have a kick-ass book in the bible, the one true faith, and in 140 years you have managed to convert less than 1% of the worlds polulation! Thats a massive fail if you ask me. How do you guys hold down jobs?

      3. Isnrblog says:

        I don’t know where you are coming from, Alexis. It seems you are trying to validate the Witnesses because no other religion has solutions to mans problems.

        Well, that may be so but how does that make the Witnesses solutions anymore real? And plenty of religions hold out a hope for thr future. In fact most do. Wouldn’t that be the whole point of any religion?

        My apologies if I misread your comment.

      4. Isnrblog says:

        Dackumus, I too apologize to all those I spewed the Watchtower bile for so many years.

        Been there, done that.

  5. LordA says:

    The Watchtower Bible society corporation convinced and connived (blasphemed actually) to get followers to more or less donate all their money- time assets- virginity you name it,
     The plan was to not need your money for retirement nest egg as Armageddon was coming in 1914,1918,1925,1975,1984…….
    Ripoff religious racket worse than Scientology ever thought of being.
     That’s the whole truth now they are ‘cashing in on da Kingdom’ baby.

  6. Anonymous says:

    B500 and Lucy,
    If you want to write something interesting please use some facts we can verify.
    And then write about something that people would be interested in.
    Other wise it’s just a lot of blah, blah,blah…sob,sob,sob…boring,boring,boring. 

  7. Guest says:

    (Matthew 7:1-6) “Stop judging that YOU may not be judged; 2 for with what judgment YOU are judging, YOU will be judged; and with the measure that YOU are measuring out, they will measure out to YOU. 3 Why, then, do you look at the straw in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the rafter in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Allow me to extract the straw from your eye’; when, look! a rafter is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First extract the rafter from your own eye, and then you will see clearly how to extract the straw from your brother’s eye. 6 “Do not give what is holy to dogs, neither throw YOUR pearls before swine, that they may never trample them under their feet and turn around and rip YOU open

  8. Judith Price 1 says:

    I live in australia, and are so please that they hve made great sales , this will further the work and draw more people into Gods new world organisation. In australia if we need a new hall  all of us volunteer to build it . no one gets paid. but we have our hall. No elders ,presidents of the organization ever gets paid. Other ministers of other religious org. want there flock to do the same thing with out, them doing so. There is  no other source in the world today that can bring lasting peace and securi ty.also it can change lives for the better.

    1. Dan says:

      And Judith, are you prepared to give your only chance at living for a tax dodge publishing empire? Forget the debate about faith or god for a second, look from the outside, who benefits from your signature to this cult?

  9. Adina Hope says:

    Jehovah’s Witnesses are used as pones by a religion that has no charity and owns more real estate than any religion with their size membership. This reality is a sad testament to mind control and the abuse of religion.   The poor kids born into this cult were told by the Watchtower not to get a college degree. Instead the parents wanted them to be full-time pioneers and wash windows for the rest of their lives.
    The average JW’s are well-meaning decent people. But they are greatly misled. True, this can be said of many other religions, but many others do not have the very high level control structure that reaches into the heart of families and eventually destroys them.
    No doubt in my mind Jehovah’s Witnesses is a cult. I grew up a witness. Got baptized when I was 10 years old. Went to pioneer school when I was older. Then ” the light got brighter” ( a common JW quote when questioned why beliefs change so frequently) and I left. It does ruin lives. They prey on the uneducated and less fortunate

    1. notapone says:

      Speaking of clarity, what is a pone?

    2. Anonymous says:

      Jehovah’s Witnesses are to Brooklyn New York what Scientology is to Clearwater Florida.
      Both are locations for world corporate headquarters.

  10. Pat-from-UK says:

    It’s sad how an article on real estate being put back on the city’s books generating revenue can degenerate into a mud slinging match.

    To isnrblog: if you had a relationship with Jehovah you wouldn’t have been disappointed. Instead, it seems you were just a robot, believing the JW’s without actually having Jehovahs spirit in your heart.

    JW’s have refined their teachings over the years as greater understanding of certain scriptures became clearer.

    1. Isnrblog says:

      Lets take one example of the “refined” teachings.

      1927, jehovah’s Witnesses have preached four different  interpretations of Jesus’ statement at
      Matthew 24:34, 35: “Truly I say to you that this generation
      will by no means pass away until all these things occur. Heaven and earth will
      pass away, but my words will by no means pass away.”

      Watchtower,  2/15/27, page 62: “Anointed
      ones make up the generation”

      1950, they changed the definition to this from The Watchtower, 7/1/69 pg395:

      “People who were only just old enough to understand what was happening to the
      world in 1914 are now approaching seventy years of age. Yes, the numbers of
      that generation are dwindling fast, but before they all pass away this system
      must meet its end in the war of Armageddon.”


      1995, they changed their interpretation again, from the Watchtower,  11/1/95, pg 19-20

      “Therefore, in the final fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy
      today, “this generation” apparently refers to the peoples of earth who see the
      sign of Christ’s presence but fail to mend their ways. In contrast, we as
      Jesus’ disciples refuse to be molded by the life-style of “this generation.”
      Though in the world, we must be no part of it, “for the appointed time is
      near.” (Revelation 1:3; John 17:16) The apostle Paul admonishes us: “Keep doing
      all things free from murmurings and arguments, that you may come to be
      blameless and innocent, children of God without a blemish in among a crooked
      and twisted generation, among whom you are shining as illuminators in the
      world.” —Philippians 2:14, 15; Colossians 3:5-10; 1 John 2:15-17.”

      Some time around 2000 they changed it back to
      the 1927 definition:

      The Watchtower, 2/15/2008, page 24: “Anointed ones make up the generation”

      So is
      this progressive? Exactly how? After about 80 years, you are back to your original belief.

    2. Isnrblog says:

      So, my “relationship” with Jehovah would have caused me to overlook, as you have, their flase prophesies and other gaffs, to numerous to mention?

      Wouldn’t that be your classic delusion?

      From the outside now, it is so clear to me how wrong I was. It’s like a fog has lifted. I’m so glad to be away from the Borg.

      You have no idea. Hopefully at some point you and other JW’s will come to their senses.

      Incidentally, the “great growth” of the organization is 1 to 3% per year. Mostly JW kids becoming of age and getting baptized. Very few outside converts.

  11. Jody Fathom says:

    Apostate Alexis Klatt Jehovah Witness Apostate Canada

  12. HI808 says:

    If you were a former JW and left the religion for whatever reason it may be, why do you waste your time complaining and putting down the organization.  You had a “CHOICE,” to serve Jehovah or to move on with your life, if you chose to serve and be one of JW’s don’t criticize the belief or how it is operated.  Every religion has it’s downfalls you just don’t hear about it.  The article was about the selling of a property not what you think the apartment looked like or how much you can down  the JW’s.  HELLO!!

  13. Sean says:

    HAHA! The JW apologists here are pretty funny here. I take it NONE of them have read Raymond Franz’s books. First hand experience of a former Governing Body member. Incredible pieces of work that would put them and their arguments to shame.

    As a former devout JW, I can say with certainty that I used to think I was following God and not men….till I realized what happens when doctrine changes. I would quite literally put my life on the line to prove a specific line of reasoning that was “clearly” from scripture. Then when that “clear” reasoning changes to a completely opposite point of view(this “generation”), I would work just as hard to support the new view….also “clearly” from scripture.

    As Ray Franz states, the men that occupy the seats of the Governing Body are the “Organization” whether the members know it or not.

  14. linzey says:

    So much hate directed toward Jehovah’s Witnesses.  It’s sad that so many people have nothing better to do than look up stories about witnesses just so they can make hateful comments.  If they don’t like the religion, then move on and find something you do like. 

    Witnesses aren’t forced to volunteer their time, they consider it a priviledge to do so.