We Works leaving(now we know it's true for certain) is the devastating blow. KABR and the Kushners have only themselves and their arrogance and greed to blame. It's time Mayor Fulop pushed them to sell to some developer who does not have that kind of baggage and negative publicity. This site can't be allowed to remain an undeveloped eyesore for a community that should be prospering. Only another developer though could win a long term abatement now, the Kushners don't have We Works anymore and have lost the support of the mayor and city council.
Kushner Cos. Pulls Request for Tax Break for One Journal Square in Jersey City
The real estate firm owned by the family of Jared Kushner has withdrawn a request for a big tax break for one its buildings in Jersey City, New Jersey, the latest setback for the company in the area.
The Kushner Cos. sent a letter withdrawing its application for a 30-year break from city taxes for a planned two-tower project in the struggling Journal Square section of the city, Jersey City spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill said Wednesday. Opponents of the tax breaks marched downtown earlier this year and the city's mayor recently came out against the Kushner request.
Jared Kushner was CEO of the family company before stepping down to become a senior adviser to his father-in-law, President Donald Trump.
Kushner Cos. spokesman James Yolles said the company is committed to the "much-needed investment" in that area of the city.
The loss of the tax break is the latest blow for the company in a city where it is major real estate developer.
The 79-story building — One Journal Square — gained attention last month after Jared Kushner's sister, Nicole Kushner Meyer, mentioned her brother in a presentation in Beijing where she had hoped to attract Chinese investors in the building. Marketing material noted the "celebrity status" of her family.
Government ethics experts blasted the family for what they said was an attempt to profit off Jared Kushner's position in Washington, and the Kushner Cos. canceled upcoming investor presentations in the country.
The company said Meyer wasn't trying to use her White House ties to attract investors.
The Kushner family is seeking 300 wealthy Chinese to invest a total of $150 million in One Journal Square. The family was trying to raise money through the EB-5 visa program that grants temporary U.S. residency to wealthy foreigners in exchange for investments of at least $500,000 in certain U.S. projects
The company also is in danger of losing another tax break for the building. The shared office space firm WeWork recently pulled out as anchor tenant. That has put in doubt a state break tied to WeWork.
Another project is off, too. The Kushner Cos. once considered bidding to develop a 95-acre industrial site along the Hackensack River in the city for housing, called Bayfront. Last month, it was revealed the family had withdrawn from those plans last year.
The Kusnher Cos. has said politics had nothing to do with its decision to withdraw from Bayfront, and that "economics of the deal" drove the move.
As for One Journal Square, company spokesman Yolles said the project will provide 4,000 construction jobs and $180 million in tax revenue for the city over 30 years.
Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, a Democrat, is running for re-election this fall, and tax breaks to developers have become a major issue.
Unlike neighboring Hoboken, Jersey City has granted dozens of tax breaks in recent years. Fulop had campaigned to reform the practice, but critics say he has done little.
Another Kushner property in the city overlooking the Hudson River got a five-year tax break soon after Fulop was elected mayor. That 50-story building has licensed the Trump name and is called Trump Bay Street. The building was also partly financed with EB-5 visa money from abroad.
The Kushner family owns or manages 20,000 apartments, 13 million square feet of office space and industrial properties in several states, including New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Illinois.
At this point I think it would make most sense for the Mayor to do with the Kushners what he did with the pension investing firm that owned the lot before(at first partnered with the Harwoods, who originally bought out and did nothing with the property) and push them to sell the property. At last report they were saying they would start sometime next year, but who knows since they lost important tax credits when their intended partner WE Works bailed on them and they have no shot at receiving abatements or other major city concessions. This is prime land... by the end of the year the second(an biggest) tower of rival Kushner cousin-owned Journal Squared will be starting construction on the back side of the Square and it's essential we get rid of this eyesore and see something significant get built. LOL it would be ironic (and a tragic waste) if the Harwoods beat them to the punch and get started on their 808 Pavonia development right behind the Loew's Theater as the Harwoods landbanked for so long when they owned the current One Journal Square property.
JCRA says Kushner Cos. violated their redevelopment agreement on $800M project
Hours after reporting that the Kushner Companies/KABR Group’s plan to redevelop One Journal Square had hit a significant snag, the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency (JCRA) informed the developers that they have violated their agreement on the project.
By John Heinis and Marc Bussanich
“Since the execution of the Redeveloper Agreement, the Redeveloper has parted ways with its joint venture partner, proposed significant changes to the Project scope, sough multiple amendments to site plan approval, and has submitted its annual administrative fee due on April 21, 2017 to the Agency on April 4, 2018, nearly one full year past due,” JCRA Acting Executive Diana Jeffrey wrote.
“All of the forgoing raise concerns regarding Redeveloper’s ability to present a cohesive capital stack and to see the Project through to fruition.”
Jeffrey sent the letter to KABR Group attorney Laurence J. Rappaport and carbon copied a number of other parties involved in the project.
Hudson County View exclusively reported yesterday that the One Journal Square developers and the JCRA were sparring over a potential tax break and the latest wrinkle in the project indicates it may be in real jeopardy.
Jeffrey specified in the letter that Kushner Cos. and the KABR Group failed to start construction by January 1st, 2017, failed to submit firm financing commitments to the JCRA and failed to obtain or waive redeveloper contingencies before they expired.
Following an uneventful meeting of the JCRA last night, HCV caught up with Jeffrey to ask her about the situation.
“We had a redevelopment agreement with the developers whereby they asked the city to issue a tax abatement and redevelopment area bonds. They have been seeking other changes to the redevelopment agreement, but currently they are not in compliance with the agreement and there have been other issues, which you reported on,” said Jeffrey.
Jeffrey then provided a synopsis of the timetable of events up to this point. In 2015, the New York-based co-working giant WeWork agreed at the time to become an anchor tenant at the new towers.
“At that time the project involved what we considered to be a really unique feature, that is a joint venture partnership with WeWork, which we thought was a very innovative idea that would really rejuvenate Journal Square by creating a lot of jobs,” said Jeffrey.
However, as has been previously reported, WeWork surprisingly and unexpectedly backed out of the joint venture partnership.
“Unfortunately, that partnership dissolved, and then the developer amended the redevelopment agreement and the scope of the project changed from bringing a unique feature to the area to the developer falling back on doing what we would consider to be a more traditional residential project,” Jeffrey said.
“They then started making demands for proposed payment in lieu of taxes [PILOT] and redevelopment area bonds.”
In response to yesterday’s story, Mayor Steven Fulop reiterated on Twitter that the city is not interested in granting a tax break to the $800 million project, which would include two 56-story towers.
We asked Jeffrey if the city’s and JCRA’s interests are aligned on this particular issue.
“At the time that WeWork pulled out, the project’s capital stack started to unravel because the developer lost their state tax credits.”
“The PILOT and bonds that they were demanding just didn’t justify a proposal to build a traditional residential project rather than an innovative project with WeWork, so we began to lose confidence in their capacity to build the original project that they proposed,” she added.
A spokeswoman for Kushner Cos. and attorneys for the project did not retain emails seeking comment.
Mayor Fulop forced the previous development group out...he MUST push as equally strongly for Kushner to either put up a credible plan and act on it quickly, or sell to someone who will. This CANNOT be allowed to continue to be a blight for the next few years, or possibly longer.
Kushner firm wins records dispute against Jersey City
JERSEY CITY — A Hudson County judge ruled Friday that the Fulop administration must hand over documents requested by Kushner Companies related to the developer’s stalled Journal Square project, a plan that is at the center of a separate legal proceeding in federal court.
Judge Francis B. Schultz’ five-page decision, which also slaps Jersey City for not devoting enough resources to answering public-records requests, comes as the administration faces renewed criticism over its transparency.
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