One Journal Square, the Jersey City skyscraper that White House adviser Jared Kushner's family marketed to wealthy Chinese investors as a way to get U.S. visas, will probably need more money: WNYC reports, "A $6.5 million annual tax credit attached to its erstwhile anchor tenant, WeWork, is about to be revoked."
WeWork had been planning on bring both their co-working and co-living brands to the $400 million tower. According to Bloomberg News, "Kushner and [partner] KABR were each slated to own one fourth of the WeWork tower, according to the request to the development authority. WeWork would own the remainder. But $59 million in tax breaks were tied to WeWork’s occupying and operating the building as a technology incubator—not merely owning it. A spokesman for WeWork declined to comment."
WNYC reported that "WeWork, which had entered into a 50-50 partnership with Kushner Companies for the project, missed a May deadline for extending its state tax credit. 'By not submitting the required documents or requesting an extension by the deadline, the company did not meet the terms of its approval,' a spokeswoman for the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, Virginia Pellerin, said in an email... [T]here’s no guarantee that any future tenant would get the $6.5 million in tax breaks, further squeezing the building’s finances."
A Kushner Cos. spokesman told WNYC, "We're fully confident that we will receive all approvals required to build One Journal Square in a neighborhood sorely in need of a revitalizing project like ours, providing nearly 4,000 union construction jobs, a memorial plaza and $180 million in tax revenue for Jersey City over the next 30 years."
Jared Kushner led Kushner Cos. until he became part of his father-in-law President Donald Trump's administration. Last month, his sister Nicole Meyer was in Beijing to promote the Journal Square in hopes of raising $150 million in financing, and the NY Times explained, "The money would be provided through a much-criticized government program known as EB-5 that awards foreign investors a path to citizenship in exchange for investments of at least $500,000 in American development projects."
Here's a slide shown during Kushner Co. event in Beijing identifying @realDonaldTrump as "key decision maker" on EB-5 investor visa program pic.twitter.com/j1M4E7eGtQ— Javier C. Hernández (@HernandezJavier) May 6, 2017
A brochure for the event allegedly had the tagline: "Invest $500,000 and immigrate to the United States."
Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop has said he is against giving the project a tax abatement.
Kushner Cos. is looking for a $250 million loan to finance another Jersey City project, Trump Bay Street, to pay Chinese investors who gave money through the visa program.