Iconic WATCHTOWER Sign Gone?

We heard the sign was removed yesterday but have not yet confirmed.

The iconic Watchtower sign, whose red electric glow can be seen from the Brooklyn Bridge and the shoreline of Lower Manhattan, is rumored to have been taken down from atop the former world headquarters of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Brooklyn Heights. In June, the city Buildings Department okayed a plan by the old headquarters’ new owners to remove the 15-foot-tall letters that spell out the word “Watchtower” from the roof of 25-30 Columbia Heights. They will leave the sign’s framework intact, Buildings Department records indicate. The religious organization’s former headquarters now belongs to a joint venture called Columbia Heights Associates that’s made up of the Kushner Cos., CIM Group and LIVWRK. Kushner Cos. was headed by Jared Kushner until he stepped aside to serve as senior adviser to his father-in-law, President Donald Trump.

The joint venture is currently working to transform the old Watchtower property into an office complex called Panorama. It will have about 635,000 square feet of Class-A office space and about 35,000 square feet of stores and public space for arts and culture. The new owners haven’t revealed what name will replace the Watchtower’s atop their Columbia Heights property. They paid $340 million for the former headquarters complex, city Finance Department records show. Kushner Cos. and various investment partners have spent about $1 billion to buy Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO properties from the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Watchtower has been selling off its real estate in the two neighborhoods because it has moved its world headquarters to upstate Warwick, New York.

-with reports from The Brooklyn Eagle

Another way to the waterfront: B’Heights biz leaders demand permanent crossing from Montague to Bridge park

They want a new bridge to Brooklyn Bridge Park!

The city must build a permanent footbridge from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade at Montague Street leading to the waterfront meadow below in order to serve pedestrians who want to shuffle between the commercial thoroughfare and park during the impending reconstruction of the Brooklyn–Queens Expressway and beyond, said the leader of a local commerce-advocacy group.

“It will increase visibility and foot traffic,” said Kate Chura, the head of the Montague Street Business Improvement District. “Time is ticking and the Department of Transportation needs to know that people want this bridge.”

Transportation-agency officials are already laying the groundwork for a temporary crossing from the promenade to the green space after promising to do so at a 2016 meeting about their repairs to a 1.5-mile stretch of the expressway between Atlantic Avenue and Sands Street, according to a spokeswoman.

Read entire article here

An Apple a Saturday: Brooklyn’s second ‘Store’ to open this weekend

The long-awaited Apple store in Fort Greene will have its grand opening this Saturday. The high-end technology giant’s shop on the bottom floor of the luxury 300 Ashland tower is now the second in the borough — the first opened on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg last summer. Rumors of an Apple store moving into America’s Downtown had been ripening for years, back when former Beep Marty Markowitz penned an electronic missive to the tech giant’s late founder Steve Jobs on his fancy iPad asking him to open an outpost of the California-based company in Kings County in 2010. The first — as this newspaper brilliantly predicted in 2012 — moved into Williamsburg in July 2016, and then in November 2016, Apple honchos signed a 10-year lease for space in developer Two Trees 32-story tower, according to the Real Deal.

The Flatbush Avenue Apple store will join a mini Whole Foods Market that’s set to open in 2018, a branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, a home for the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, a Brooklyn Academy of Music cinema, and 379 apartments in the tower near Ashland Place and Lafayette Avenue.

Apple Downtown Brooklyn (123 Flatbush Avenue near Hanson Place in Fort Greene). Grand opening Dec. 2 at 10 am.

-The Brooklyn Paper

Boro native and CPN resident rings in 100th birthday with loved ones at Noodle Pudding!

This longtime teacher just hit triple digits!

A crowd of more than 50 people crammed into Brooklyn Heights Italian standby Noodle Pudding on Nov. 12 to ring in a native daughter’s 100th birthday at a bash where celebrants young and old toasted centenarian Bertha Lowitt’s long and wholesome life of service, according to her daughter.

“It was just a wonderful experience that united relatives and friends from various circles,” said Susan Dowling, whose mother turned 100-years-old on Nov. 1. “We had a lovely time celebrating a person who is strong and incredible.”

Read the full story here!


Full-size supermarket coming to site of old Dumbo parking lot

Coming soon!: Dumbo-based developer Two Trees is transforming a Front Street parking garage into the nabe’s first full-size grocer, Dumbo Market, a rep for the real-estate company announced Thursday.

A Front Street parking garage will be transformed into the neighborhood’s first full-service food bazaar, a spokeswoman for the developer that owns the building announced on Thursday. And the conversion of the vehicle-storage space will finally bring a much-needed amenity to the waterfront community, said a local business advocate. “I think this is incredible for the neighborho­od,” said Alexandria Sica, head of the Dumbo Business Improvement District. “It doesn’t have a full service grocery store and this is going to be a game-changer.”

Dumbo Market — which will boast deli and butcher counters in addition to hawking fresh produce, seafood, and other basic kitchen supplies — will offer residents a slew of new pantry items to fill their carts with, according to Sica, who said locals currently just have two less-expansive grocers to choose from: the Adams Street specialty-foods store, Foragers, and the bodega-style shop, Peas and Pickles, on Washington Street. “The market that they have planned is going to have delicious food and everything you need, so you won’t have to go elsewhere,” she said.

Honchos from the neighborhood-based real-estate company Two Trees filed plans with the Department of Buildings in February to refashion the Park Kwik garage on Front Street between Washington and Main streets into a one-floor supermarket to the tune of $2 million, according to city records. The store will also include a bakery and sell fresh-cut flowers, according the developer’s spokeswoman, who said the builders plan to keep some of the current parking lot’s spaces in place for car-driving customers, though she could not specify exactly how many will remain. The new grocer will be run by the family behind Williamsburg’s Brooklyn Harvest Market stores, according to the spokeswoman, who said it is set to open in early 2018.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.

CPN’s Community Room Becomes a Haunted House for Halloween!

Thanks to the hard working volunteers headed up by Board Member Mabel Del Rio, Cadman kids were treated to an awesome Halloween party on November 4th. There was a good turnout that enjoyed refreshments and lots of fun and games. If you’d like to join the Community Affairs Committee to help put together more activities for kids, send an email to 140CPNBoard@gmail.com

CPN Gets in the Halloween Spirit

Kevin greets CPNers on Halloween with a bucket of treats! Did you get yours? Thanks to all those who participated in our Trick or Treat Sign-In. Don’t forget about our Haunted House Party on Saturday, November 4th! See lobby notices for details.

Mayor de Blasio Announces $6 million to Upgrade Northern End of Cadman Park at Heights Town Hall.

Thanks to an invitation from Steve Levin to the CPN Board, we had a front row seat to all the action at this lively but mostly civil Town Hall Meeting held Wednesday night at St Francis College.

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, NYS Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon, and Congress Member Nydia Velázquez also attended to show their support for the mayor as well as the neighborhoods covered in Levin’s Council District 33 (Boerum Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn Navy Yard, Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO, Fulton Ferry, Greenpoint, Vinegar Hill, and Williamsburg).

“This is a great opportunity for this district to have a real dialogue with our Mayor,” Levin said at the start of the meeting. “He’s done now 40 of these meetings around the city. He’s going to be reaching out to every single council district in the entire city of New York by the end of this year. What that says to me is this is a mayor who cares about communities. This is a mayor who cares about the issue on your block.”

Before the two-hour Q&A session with community members, De Blasio addressed the audience, detailing recent developments within the council district Levin represents.

Of particular interest to CPN is the announcement that $6 million has been invested to upgrade of northern end of Cadman Plaza Park. The Mayor pointed out that this park is long overdue for improvements. The last time Cadman Plaza Park received an upgrade was in the 1950s. The project will include new landscaping, new benches, and a water fountain.

-Keith Klein

See BKLYNER for full story.

Mayor De Blasio Meets Council District 33 At Brooklyn Heights Town Hall