The real estate development company formerly run by Jared Kushner but which is owned by his family is suing Jersey City again, trying for the second time to successfully cast itself as victim to the city’s alleged policy of persecuting all things related to Trump.
The complaint filed in September is essentially a do-over of a lawsuit that was dismissed last August. That lawsuit was dismissed not on its merits, but rather for lack of jurisdiction. The most recent iteration of the complaint is much lengthier; it alleges that Kushner Companies and its partner KABR had big development plans in Jersey City that were halted for political reasons. The companies had purchased land in December 2014, and planned to build two towers for both residential and commercial space.
Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, however, allegedly saw any support of the project as a major political liability, and derailed it on that basis.
Kushner Cos. and the KABR Group spent $27 million on land where One Journal Square was to be constructed. One of the lawsuit’s primary allegations is that Kushner Cos. was unfairly denied tax abatements.
When Fulop, a Democrat, was reelected in 2017, he tweeted about the project: “Our position has NOT changed + we don’t see support for incentives or abatements from the city for this project.”
Mayor Fulop continues to assert that the project demonstrated no need for a tax abatement, vowing, “we won’t be bullied or harassed by the Kushner family to give a tax abatement.” According to Fulop’s administration, Jersey City hasn’t given out a tax abatement in over three years.
Kimberly Wallace-Scalcione, a spokeswoman for Jersey City, said the latest complaint was nothing more than “another silly lawsuit the Kushner family will lose, just like they lost the last time.”
Fulop has maintained that his city’s decisions were and always have been made in residents’ best interests, and that allegations to the contrary are “very public attempts to drag [his] name and the City’s credibility through the mud.”
The lawsuit casts Kushner Cos. as victim to Fulop’s bully (h/t Hudson County View):
Despite the fact that the City’s conduct was ‘wrong,’ Fulop stated that the publicity over the fact that he was linked to Trump through the Kushner Companies made the deal ‘really tough,’ such that it would be better if the Kushner name was not involved in the project.
Jersey City filed a motion to dismiss the new complaint; a hearing is scheduled in Newark federal court for Nov. 18.
[image via Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images]