Jehovah’s Witnesses Hotel’s Affordable Housing Transformation Imminent at 90 Sands Street in DUMBO

View from the Brooklyn Bridge of existing conditions at 90 Sands Street (Courtesy of Breaking Ground)View from the Brooklyn Bridge of existing conditions at 90 Sands Street (Courtesy of Breaking Ground)

A former Jehovah’s Witness Hotel at 90 Sands Street in DUMBO, Brooklyn will soon be transformed into 491-unit residential property with a mix of deeply affordable and supportive housing units. From Breaking Ground, New York City’s largest supportive housing developer, construction is expected to kick off before the end of November.

Designed by Beyer Blinder Belle, the project will culminate in 185 affordable units for households that range from extremely low-income to moderate-income designations, 305 units to house the formerly homeless, and one additional unit for the onsite superintendent. Half of the units, equivalent to 246 homes, will be permanently affordable.

The Center for Urban Community Services will provide onsite social services to residents including case management, primary medical care, mental health services, employment readiness, and benefits counseling.

Amenity spaces will include a flexible residents’ lounge for meetings and events, a digital library, and a fitness room. Additional components include a 28,000-square-foot community facility and commercial space spanning both the first and second floors of the development, as well as a public plaza at the corner of Sands and Jay Streets.

“At 90 Sands, we return to our roots and further our mission to enable people to forever escape the trauma of homelessness,” said Brenda Rosen, president and CEO of Breaking Ground. “With the construction [loan] closing for 90 Sands, we are on our way to bringing 491 much-needed affordable units to DUMBO, one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the city.”

90 Sands Street - Site Map

90 Sands Street – Site Map

90 Sands Street - View from Northwest corner of Pearl and Sands Streets

90 Sands Street – View from Northwest corner of Pearl and Sands Streets

As previously reported by YIMBY, RFR Realty sold the former Jehovah’s Witness building to Breaking Ground in August 2018 for approximately $170 million. RFR originally acquired the property for $135 million and planned to construct a 600-key hotel with developer Ian Schrager. Those plans never came to fruition.

For the acquisition of 90 Sands, Breaking Ground received $2 million from the New York City Council, a $155 million loan from the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and a $10 million grant from Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. Breaking Ground provided a $6.7 million sponsor loan to finance acquisition and pre-construction costs. The Leviticus Fund also provided $1.5 million in pre-construction financing.

The renovation and repositioning of the building as supportive and affordable housing will be financed by 501c3 and taxable bonds totaling more than $70.4 million issued by the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC). HDC provided an additional $6 million in capital subsidy. JPMorgan Chase is providing a construction letter of credit.

“We continue to be committed to supporting critical community development projects like 90 Sands that’s creating a life-changing opportunity for its future residents,” said Dave Walsh, the northeast regional manager of community development banking at JPMorgan Chase. “We congratulate Breaking Ground for celebrating 30 year of transforming neighborhoods.”

In addition to public financing, key philanthropic support has enabled Breaking Ground to carry out the project, including grants from Robin Hood Foundation, Deutsche Bank’s DB SHARE program, and National Grid.

The project team anticipates full completion by the first quarter of 2022.

Existing conditions at 90 Sands Street (Courtesy of Breaking Ground)

Existing conditions at 90 Sands Street (Courtesy of Breaking Ground)

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26 Comments on "Jehovah’s Witnesses Hotel’s Affordable Housing Transformation Imminent at 90 Sands Street in DUMBO"

  1. Well, this is not at all a bad location for affordable housing. It’s quite a nice building.

  2. When will be ready and how do I apply for an apt.

  3. I grew up and this beautiful neighborhood

  4. Please, how can I get an application for this building.

  5. I would love to be on the list for an apartment will there be spaces for senior citizens, I hope yes

  6. Dawn Goode- Thomas | November 28, 2020 at 10:47 pm | Reply

    Great News!!!

  7. So what’s affordable? The rent usually for one bedroom is,2,500. Sounds affordable??

  8. I Think That is Fantastic. It is a Great Idea to Transform 90 Sands Into Affordable Housing for the Homeless, Low-Income and Moderate-Income Individuals and Families. I Personally would take it as a Privilege and Honor to be Able to Live in Such a Fantastic Building that used to Belong My Heavenly Father Jehovah and My Dear Brothers and Sisters. What Better Place To Live. I am currently looking for a new place of residence. I have a new landlord and he wants all the tenants to move because he wants to tear down the house that I live in to build commercial space. So I have to move. Since I’ve lived here for 26 years I keep saying to myself where am I going to go and where should I move to? A few minutes ago I turned to my phone news and low and behold I saw this advertisement and said to myself could this be the answer to my Prayers Jehovah. I Really Really would Love to Become a Resident of 90 Sands. Can you send me more information. How can I Apply for 90 Sands? When will applications be available? When will the building be ready for tenants?


    Donna Toro

  9. This is a great idea. We need more hotel conversions like this. Would be a great thing to take advantage of now with all the current hotel bankruptcies.

  10. I wonder what the arched top floor windows will shelter. Not a penthouse unit in an affordable building like this. Maybe the resident’s lounge. It has adjacent terraces.

  11. Dawn Goode- Thomas | November 29, 2020 at 4:11 pm | Reply

    Hi this is Dawn again, please update me on how to apply for this lovely building. This would be a dream come true for me and my family. Thanking in Advance.

  12. I would love to be in and apartment because right now I’m in a hotel shelter in China town i have been in the system for 1year and 2 months i am a 66year woman would love to be he my apartment i have

  13. Please put my daughter and I on the list for this apt. 2 bed please.

  14. This is a beautiful building. How do I receive an application?
    Very interested as I am a senior and it looks safe.

  15. Hello :
    When will

  16. I am interested in applying for an apartment in this beautiful building. Please email me how I can apply.
    Thank you , Arlette Bryant

  17. Navonia Richardson-Dyette | December 7, 2020 at 5:50 pm | Reply

    I would like to request an application please.

  18. Hi, I am very much interested, how do I apply? Or where do I get an application?

  19. Leslie Flournoy | December 12, 2020 at 3:25 pm | Reply

    I would love to live here. As one if Jehovah’s Witnesses it’s a privilege and an honor from my God Jehovah. We are clean , respectable people. Please send me an application! Mych appreciated! Thank you!

  20. Katrina C Brownlee | December 13, 2020 at 7:32 am | Reply

    How can I apply for application

  21. How do I apply for those buildings

  22. I would love to receive an application how can I get one????

  23. Imelda pebenito | January 28, 2021 at 1:27 am | Reply

    I want an application for a 1 to 2 bedrooms please thank you.

  24. James and Rosemarie McFadden | March 17, 2021 at 1:06 am | Reply

    To Whom It May Concern,
    I would like to ask for an application for a one-bedroom. We are two responsible JW Seniors who have lived in Canarsie for 50 years. Those 50 yrs include living in 4 private residences. 5 ys, 5yrs, 28yrs, and currently 13yrs. 90 Sands are old stomping grounds for many visits with our formers friends who lived there. We have been approved twice for One Flushing within the last 4 years. The second interview took place last Sept. 2020. Seems that we keep getting approval for a studio instead of one bedroom.

  25. Tamar Louhisdon | April 13, 2022 at 9:58 am | Reply

    Good morning, this is such a wonderful news. My mom is one of Jehovah’s witnesses, as a retired single woman she would truly benefit from living in a development that once belonged to our brothers and carried such a long history of our grand creator Jehovah God.

    My mom is a respectable and kind person and would keep this place clean.

    We would love a 2 bedroom apartment which would facilitate someone staying with her.

    We love this building so much and it would be an honor.


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