The Watermark at Brooklyn Heights opened for occupancy this week at 21 Clark Street in Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn. The senior living community occupies the former Leverich Towers Hotel originally constructed in 1928.
The consortium of developers responsible for the project includes Kayne Anderson Real Estate, Watermark Retirement Communities, and Tishman Speyer. Montroy DeMarco Architecture led the renovation of the building, which now comprises 310,000 square feet of residential area, amenity space, and wellness facilities.
The property now comprises 275 individual units. This includes 145 that are designated for independent living, 88 for assisted living, and the remaining 42 units for memory care. The residences range from studios to two-bedroom accommodations. To help the senior residents truly feel at home, the architects finalized 78 different floor plans.
Interiors designed by Lemay+Escobar Architects are meant to evoke a sense of history and stately living, while also doing away with any hints of the expected clinical design of traditional senior communities.
“The property features a slightly understated, classic, and timeless elegance that urban New York-area residents are familiar with and appreciate,” said Richard DeMarco, partner at Montroy DeMarco Architecture. “This gorgeous community features a number of dramatic public spaces, including a soaring two-story restaurant known as The W Room, located in the former hotel ballroom. During the renovation, we respected the original beauty of the building and revived some historic features to create an amenity-filled environment where residents will be very proud to live.”
The Watermark offers 50,000 square feet of amenities, which include an art gallery, three restaurants, a performing arts center, multiple wellness suites, a heated indoor pool, a salon and spa, and an outdoor roof deck.
“While touring the property prior to its acquisition in 2017, we realized we had a rare opportunity to redevelop 21 Clark Street, a part of the former Jehovah’s Witnesses headquarters complex, into a one-of-a-kind community with a national and even international appeal,” said David Barnes, Watermark Retirement Communities’ president. “While the property’s immense size, including the sprawling lower-level spaces, had discouraged other developers, we immediately recognized it as an incredible chance to create over 50,000 square feet of amenities for our members. This is something unheard of in any other urban retirement community.”
Watermark and Kayne Anderson’s partnership owns and operates a portfolio of 17 retirement communities totaling more than 2,300 residences of independent living, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing, with a cumulative value of about $1.2 billion. The Watermark at Brooklyn Heights is one of five properties managed by Watermark Retirement Communities in their Élan Collection.
To complete this latest community, acquisition and redevelopment financing was secured from BMO Harris, Wells Fargo, and Capital One in the amount of $200 million. The total cost of the development is valued at approximately $330 million.
“We are enthusiastic to be involved in fulfilling a growing demand for high-quality senior housing in the heart of Brooklyn,” said Al Rabil, CEO of Kayne Anderson Real Estate. “Urban senior living properties are an attractive alternative real estate investment segment within a rapidly growing market. We are proud to lead this market sector nationally with our partner, Watermark Retirement Communities.”