JW.org has announced that construction work has officially commenced on the new Warwick Headquarters after approval was granted by the local town planning board.
The first building permit was obtained on Friday, July 26, and site work and the digging of foundations began three days later.
The news comes as Watchtower looks set to surpass the billion dollar mark in property sales for its Brooklyn headquarters.
The new Warwick site is targeted for completion in 2017, and Watchtower officials see the planning approval as a huge leap forward in that regard. “Obtaining this site plan and special-use permit in July was the first critical scheduling milestone to reach our goal of finishing the project in four years,” said Enrique Ford of the Warwick project committee.
Key to the planning board’s unanimous decision was Watchtower’s willingness to use an “environmentally sustainable building design,” promoting, among other things, the conservation of local wildlife. Those who are aware of the recent scandal surrounding the discovery of buried barrels of toxic waste at Watchtower’s Wallkill facility will note the irony of this.
With the green light given for construction at Warwick, Watchtower has been able to press ahead with its lucrative Brooklyn sales transaction. As reported in a recent JWsurvey article, Watchtower has already secured a staggering $804 million from selling off the bulk of its Brooklyn property portfolio.
Now the New York Post has announced that Watchtower looks set to gain a further $240 million from the sale of a “five-building complex encompassing about 973,000 square feet of office and retail space located in the DUMBO portion of the Brooklyn waterfront.” This complex is thought to be the iconic former Squibb complex that was recently featured in a Watchtower promotional video.
Watchtower’s move to upstate New York is seen by many as borne from necessity, as the organization stands to profit considerably from the transaction even after the new headquarters is complete.
As publisher growth in wealthier countries continues to stagnate, Watchtower is forced to become increasingly resourceful in securing funding for its downsized operations. And the recent spate of child abuse allegations, including the announcement of the Elizabeth McFarland lawsuit, would indicate there is no end in sight for Watchtower in terms of its growing legal bill.