One of Jersey City’s biggest proposed residential projects is now “in danger of collapsing,” according to the Associated Press. One Journal Square, one of the many projects that Kushner Companies is developing across the Hudson, has been stalled for close to a year, and “a heated exchange of letters and emails with the city” have made it clear that the two sides may not be able to come to an agreement over its future.
The background: Jared Kushner paid $27 million for the vacant site, located smack in the middle of Jersey City’s Journal Square neighborhood, in 2015. The firm had initially courted WeWork as an anchor tenant, but the co-working (and co-living) company backed out of the project earlier this year, forgoing its alleged 50 percent ownership stake in the development and putting a planned tax abatement for the project in jeopardy.
Jersey City mayor Steven Fulop also announced that the city would no longer back One Journal Square, only saying that the project “doesn’t work for us.” For a hot minute, it looked like the project could be revived, but the AP report contradicts that narrative.
According to AP, the Kushners are now “making veiled threats of legal action,” and have alleged that politics—namely, a distaste for Jared Kushner’s role within the White House—are behind the city’s refusal to back the project. They also contend that Fulop backed out of the project in order to win votes in the city’s 2017 mayoral election.
“It should be obvious to everyone that the Kushners’ claim that the mayor needed to ‘play politics’ to win votes has no merit,” a Jersey City spokesperson told the AP. “This is a false argument that is being used to explain why things didn’t go their way.” The city contends that Kushner Companies had missed crucial deadlines for the project, and that it did not believe the firm could see the project through to completion.
My job is #jerseycity progress + while I disagree w/everything about the President, this decision stands on its own merit. After 6 yrs of delay after delay from them, I think fair to say that the Kushners shouldn’t point fingers https://t.co/B8X7419RtO— Steven Fulop (@StevenFulop) April 24, 2018
One Journal Square was due to have two 56-story towers with more than 1,000 apartments, plus retail and office space.