Kushner Cos. blame Jersey City’s ‘anti-Trump’ sentiment in lawsuit over stalled $900M project

June 29, 2018

Old rendering of One Journal Square via KABR Group

A partnership headed by Charles Kushner filed a lawsuit in federal court in Jersey City Wednesday, blaming the mayor’s “political animus” toward all things Trump–and, therefore, Kushner–for sending the company’s residential complex into default earlier this year. According to the New York Times, the suit claims that Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop issued a default against the $900 million development in order to “appease and curry favor with the overwhelmingly anti-Trump constituents of Jersey City.”

one journal square, kushner companies, jersey city
Rendering of One Journal Square via KABR Group

The elder Mr. Kushner and son Jared, now senior advisor to President Trump, purchased a two-acre site in Journal Square in 2014 in partnership with the KABR group, with plans for two 56-story towers near the PATH station, with leasing/co-working/world domination company WeWork on board to create a shared workspace, business incubator and apartments. The project had the mayor’s support and got the green light from the city’s planning board as well as $93 million in tax breaks from the state–including $59 million tied to the WeWork plan.

The project hit rocky ground after Jared Kushner left town for the White House. Charles Kushner had parted ways with WeWork in favor of a more conventional development strategy, so the state pulled the related $59 million portion of the tax-break package.

After the Kushner company’s attempt to raise money in China last year, Fulop, who was running for re-election in a Democrat-heavy city, made it clear that he was against city-sponsored tax breaks for the project. The planning board approved the company’s revised plans, but without the Mayor’s blessing, a 30-year tax break would not be forthcoming. The default was issued when the company failed to begin construction in January and didn’t appear to have obtained further financing for the project.

The suit maintains that the company has worked diligently to fulfill their redevelopment agreement with the city, with $55 million worth of applications and project costs to prove it. Fulop holds that the Kushners’ claim is unfounded, saying in a statement that “it’s not like the Kushners have a great deal of credibility in anything they say. Their entire lawsuit is hearsay nonsense. Bottom line — the same way they illegally use the presidency to make money is the same way here they try to use the presidency to be pretend victims. They will do anything to manipulate a situation.”

[Via NYTimes]


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