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NJ Town Seeks Ferry to Dock Near Upscale Resort Co-Owned by Jared Kushner

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Kushner

Seems as though the name of the White House’s senior advisor Jared Kushner has been dominating headlines as of late.  The matters being investigated undoubtedly do not paint him in a good life from a professional perspective.

 

It was recently reported that the federal government has been offering advice to the Jersey Shore town of Long Branch on what the best ways are of constructing a special pier and launching a ferry service that would ultimately transport New York City residents directly to a resort that is co-owned by Kushner.

 

Back in 2008, the Federal Transit Administration, an agency that works in conjunction with the Transportation Department gave the city of Long Branch $3.34 million to reconstruct a fishing pier that had been a favorite amongst the indigenous population and a wide variety of tourists. The amount proffered however was not nearly sufficient to complete a project of this magnitude. Elected city officials and other local leaders have been in negotiations with federal transit officials on possible ways to submit applications for further aid.

 

The officials say the agency highlighted the ferry plan at a conference last year as a promising way to improve traffic by getting commuters off the roads. Long Branch also receives some technical assistance and guidance from FTA on how to manage its current grant.

 

According to published reports, Kushner resigned as CEO of his family’s company in January 2017 to join the White House, but according to a December financial disclosure report he still owns part of the Pier Village resort, which is currently selling its beachfront condos.

 

If the pier is rebuilt on its historic site and the ferry starts up, the value of those condos could rise as much as 50 percent, said Howard Woolley, Long Branch’s former business administrator.

 

Kushner Cos. spokeswoman Christine Taylor said the pier would benefit Long Branch, and had “no specific benefit to us versus anyone else” in town.

 

The federal government, however finds itself in an untenable position, as it is assisting a project that would benefit Kushner in a professional business capacity. Naturally, conflicts of interests arise, being that Kushner still retains the formidable role of White House senior advisor.

 

Once the project is complete, a former city official said, it would boost property values at the Kushner resort, which is currently selling 269 condos for as much as $1.9 million each.

 

If the pier is rebuilt on its historic site and the ferry starts up, the value of those condos could rise as much as 50 percent, said Howard Woolley, Long Branch’s former business administrator.

 

Kushner Cos. spokeswoman Christine Taylor said the pier would benefit Long Branch, and had “no specific benefit to us versus anyone else” in town.

 

“Of course, we, like other high-class developers, discuss projects that help the communities that we serve,” she said in a statement. “To suggest that we have done anything unethical is patently false and appears to be drummed up again for political gain.”

 

A Chinese firm that helps raise money from wealthy Chinese as part of a U.S. visa-for-investment program published an article on its website last year listing Pier Village as an attractive investment. The firm did not respond to emails seeking comment. Kushner Cos. has used the firm for other real estate projects, but said it made “no efforts in the past” to tap the visa program for Pier Village.

 

In Long Branch, the Kushner family has been developing property for generations.

Kushner’s mother and father own a block-long, $7.6 million estate on the beach.

The family business also has benefited from local tax breaks to build out the Pier Village resort.

 

 

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Renee

    03/14/2018 at 4:14 pm

    While I greatly appreciate all of the output from the Jewish Voice and that you are informing the public about this topic, I find that this article is very skewed against Jared Kushner. He is not the only one who would benefit if the ferry is built. There are countless residents and businesses in the vicinity and beyond – not just in Pier Village – who would thrive with such a development. We must ask ourselves if we want our government officials to remain only in the cocoon and confines of government or if we want them to be real people, in touch with others and have pursuits and cares in the real world. I don’t think it is a realistic request, nor a fair one, to expect that our elected officials be so removed. If the development of a ferry would be serving just the Kushners alone, there might be a case here, but that is not the case.

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