The Property Groups of New York – Slated for Unimaginable Wealth, Civic Minded? That’s for you to consider…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BG3IvUZrBt4

 

Slate Property Group, Mega Developments and Community Boards – Voting Down these Projects

It would take quite a lot to convince us that the major property groups involved in New York’s mega projects have anything except money and financial benefit in mind. It would take a concerted effort of conciliatory behavior and cooperation with (not only journalists) but with civic and community leaders for us to even consider that there are “civic duties and responsibilities at play”. Slate is no exception. Consider the Rivington Street fiasco that has caused the owners of Slate a considerable amount of time and money to perform “damage control” and we have a hard time accepting that this is anything more than lip service. (See the following from November 28,2016. If you click on the title, you can follow the link)

Slate Property Group Attempts Damage Control After Rivington House Mess

To the community leaders in control of the votes necessary to pass measures that would allow these projects to pass, we recommend you look carefully. Perform your due diligence. Leopards do not change their spots. And if you want to know how the future is going to look, check the past behavior of the principals. There are precious few truly altruistic property developers in New York and far too many officials willing to accept significant offers of advancement in one form or another to count on them to have a straight moral compass.

We have provided you with a multitude of links to start your research. If it leads you to believe that the men like the principals of Slate are community minded, then so be it. We believe a project like this is a clean slate towards making money for the principals and housing unaffordable. The decision is for the community.

LM, 10.15.18

Brooklyn Paper – Click here to read full article:

Split decision: Vote on Downtown tower galvanizes board before majority pans project

It’s an “aye” toward compromise.

Community Board 2’s full board last week outright rejected a developer’s request to rezone Fulton Street land in order to erect a 40-story tower — but not before the civic guru who cast the lone vote in favor of the 80 Flatbush megadevelopment when the full board voted against it earlier this year urged his colleagues to follow suit this time around, arguing doing so would at least give the panel a seat at the table for discussions should the project move forward.

Clinton Hiller Lenny Singletary, CB2’s second vice chairman, told the panel that by not flat out opposing the proposed high-rise, it may be in a better position to negotiate some changes to the project in order to make it as beneficial as possible for the community.

“In this particular case, there is nothing wrong with making our own recommendation on what we want conditions to be,” Singletary said at a Wednesday full-board meeting. “It’s not whether you are pro or against development. It’s not an all or nothing thing.

Last month, the board’s Land Use Committee panned Manhattan-based builder Slate Property Group’s application to upzone a Fulton Street plot between Rockwell Place and Flatbush Avenue in order to erect the 558-foot, mixed-use tower with 139 apartments, roughly 40 of which will be below-market-rate, and office space.

And despite Singletary’s appeal, the full board ultimately voted to pan the proposal 19 to 13 with one abstention — even after other panel members urged their colleagues to think carefully before simply saying no, noting their opposition to 80 Flatbush did little to stop Council from approving a slightly shrunken version of the five-building complex in the end.

“We as a community board have to think going forward, we can pretty much tinker around the edges ” said John Dew, who once chaired the panel. “Our job is to do what’s best for the community, not stand and stomp.”

Singletary said board members could have used their concerns about the development — which include that it offers too little affordable housing, and creates too few jobs — as ammunition to demand the builder find ways to add more below-market-rate units and employment opportunities if they voted to approve the project with conditions, instead of simply telling the firm to take a hike.

The full board, however, unanimously cast its purely advisory vote against the proposal a month later. But that did not stop Council from green-lighting the project in July , a decision that led leaders of anti-development group Preserve Our Brooklyn Neighborhoods to sue the city in an attempt to stop construction of the tower, according to the organization’s president, who said its lawyer filed an Article 78 appeal — a motion that challenges decisions made by local or state agencies — last week.

And CB2’s full board voting to reject developments outright isn’t a new phenomenon, according to the panel’s district manager, who said he couldn’t recall a single time in recent history that its members voted to approve a project with conditions.

“Nothing immediately comes to mind,” said Rob Perris.

 

ADDITIONAL LINKS:

Slate Property Group

http://weblink.ibrooklyn.com/real-estate-development-management/slate-property-group-173321

Slate Property Group Starts Lending Arm With $500M Yearly Goal

Read more at: https://www.bisnow.com/new-york/news/capital-markets/slate-property-group-lending-arm-500m-84572?utm_source=CopyShare&utm_medium=Browser

 

BFC, Slate to Redevelop Bedford Armory Into Mixed-Use Complex

https://commercialobserver.com/2015/12/bfc-slate-to-redevelop-bedford-armory-into-mixed-use-complex/

 

 

 

 

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Fort Greene Residents to Sue Over High-Rise to Preserve Brooklyn Neighborhood

Fort Greene Residents To Sue City Over High-Rise Plans

An attorney for Preserve Our Brooklyn Neighborhoods will file suit to stop a proposed 13-story building from going up on South Portland.

 

FORT GREENE, BROOKLYN — Fort Greene residents plan to sue the city over a new development planned to go up on South Portland Avenue.

Grassroots organization Preserve Our Brooklyn Neighborhoods will file suit against the New York City Planning Commission in a last-ditch attempt to prevent a 13-story high rise from going up at 142 South Portland Ave., organizer Sandy Reiburn told Patch.

“Our low-rise and historic communities are being appropriated by rapacious development,” Reiburn said, “fueled by a mayor who asserts he’s configuring 300,000 new ‘affordable’ apartments, no matter how unaffordable nor how many generations of New Yorkers will be displaced.”

The property belongs to the Hanson Place Seventh Day Adventist Church, which first sought community support for the 50-affordable-unit complex in November 2017 by arguing the building would bring much-needed affordable housing to the neighborhood.

“They want what the lord wants,” developer Michael T. Rooney of MDG Design, the company commissioned to design the building, told residents in November. “They’re pleading with the neighborhood to stand with them on this.”

Developers initially presented plans that called for 75 percent of the units to be priced at or above the area median income, with rents for a three-bedroom apartment topping out at $3,150-per-month.

The City has since committed $50 million to subsidize the development under the mayor’s controversial Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program, which allows developers to construct larger buildings if a percentage of the units are affordably priced, said the group’s attorney Jack Lester.

Lester told Patch he will file an Article 78 later this week that argues the development “obliterates local zoning while not producing increased affordable housing as promised.”

 

TO READ THE ARTICLE IN ITS ORIGINAL CONTENT FORM CLICK HERE.

Inspectors Accepting Bribes to Speed up Developments, Shocking? Nope.

The Daily News

Fourteen people charged with bribing inspectors to speed up Brooklyn development projects

With new buildings popping up across Brooklyn, some corrupt property owners put a pair of city inspectors on retainer to avoid code violations, the Department of Investigation charged Wednesday.

The two Department of Buildings inspectors were among 14 individuals hit with charges in the latest crackdown on the resilient corruption that’s plagued the building sector in this city for decades.

The two inspectors were paid off by property owners and contractors to overlook code violations such as inoperable exit signs on residential and commercial buildings going up across Brooklyn, DOI Commissioner Mark Peters said.

“Fabricating documents, lying about conducting inspections or about who is doing the work has serious consequences,” said Peters. “For the defendants it’s about expediting the construction timeline. It’s about making an extra buck.”

Financier gets probation for bribing state pension official

In all, 10 property owners, developers and contractors were charged in the scheme, along with a private sector asbestos inspector who took fees to fudge inspections and a master plumber who sold the use of his license.

Thirteen of the 14 were arrested in a pre-dawn sweep. All will be prosecuted by Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and were to be presented in court later Wednesday.

The two city inspectors were paid off with cash but also got free kitchen renovations and driveway upgrades to their private homes, the complaints allege.

Daniel Melamed – 3 Counts of Unlawful Evictions

Brooklyn Landlord Found Guilty of Unlawful Evictions in Crown Heights

 

CROWN HEIGHTS — A Brooklyn landlord could face up to a year in jail for harassing and endangering rent stabilized tenants at his Crown Heights building, the state attorney general announced.

Daniel Melamed, owner of 1578 Union St., was arrested in 2015 after an investigation by the newly created Tenant Harassment Prevention Task Force found he had intentionally cut heat to rent stabilized tenants in the middle of winter, failed to shield them from lead dust and asbestos and did illegal construction to try to push them out.

Melamed was the first person arrested due to the work of the task force, created in 2015 by Mayor Bill de Blasio, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

Schneiderman this week said Melamed has been found guilty of three counts of unlawful eviction following a trial that included testimony from tenants who detailed how they lived under Melamed’s ownership, including bathing using buckets, having to cover their faces to protect against dust and heating their apartments with ovens.

“We won’t hesitate to bring the full force of the law against anyone who harasses, intimidates, and jeopardizes the health and safety of tenants,” Schneiderman said in a statement Tuesday. “Daniel Melamed intentionally endangered rent-stabilized tenants in order to push them out — and line his own pockets.”

PLEASE READ THE ARTICLE IN ITS ENTIRETY ON DNAINFO:

https://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20170621/clinton-hill/affordable-housing-lottery-1007-atlantic-avenue

Gerrymandering Human Lives – How Jared Kushner and “Cos” Stripped the Poor to Build for the Rich

 

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Kushner tapped program meant for job-starved areas to build a luxury skyscraper

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-kushner-eb5-20170601-story.html

Jared Kushner and his real estate partners wanted to take advantage of a federal program in 2015 that would save them millions of dollars as they built an opulent, 50-story residential tower in Jersey City, N.J.’s booming waterfront district, just across the Hudson River from Lower Manhattan.

There was just one problem: The program was designed to benefit projects in poor, job-starved areas.

So the project’s consultants got creative, records show.

They worked with state officials in New Jersey to come up with a map that defined the area around 65 Bay Street as a swath of land that stretched nearly four miles and included some of the city’s poorest and most crime-ridden neighborhoods. At the same time, they excluded some wealthy neighborhoods only blocks away.

The tactic — critics liken it to the gerrymandering of legislative districts — made it appear that the site was in an area with extraordinarily high unemployment, allowing Kushner Cos. and its partners to get $50 million in low-cost financing through the EB-5 visa program.

The move was legal, and other developers have used similar strategies in recent years, often aided by state officials who welcome the infusion of cash. But it illustrates how Kushner — who ran his family’s real estate company before he became a senior advisor to President Trump — and his partners exploited a loophole in a federal program that prominent members of both parties say has been plagued by fraud and abuse.

On the south side of Jersey City, which has some of the most entrenched poverty in the New York City region, many people interviewed one day last week were surprised that their neighborhood’s troubles were part of the reason that 65 Bay Street got cheap financing.

“That’s very sad,” said Pastor Shyrone Richardson of the World Outreach Christian Church in the struggling Bergen-Lafayette section of Jersey City. “Unfortunately, the people who are benefiting from this are not the people in this area.”

Richardson’s church is in a five-block area where nearly one in five were jobless and there were three fatal shootings in 2015, according to an analysis of crime and census data.

His neighborhood seems a world away from the gleaming office towers and trendy cafes that surround 65 Bay Street. The Jersey City waterfront saw a building boom after 9/11 that transformed the area into one of the hottest real estate markets in the New York metro region, drawing residents from Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Apartments in the Bay Street building, marketed as Trump Bay Street, rent for up to $4,700 a month and offer sweeping views of Lower Manhattan. A nearby commuter train shuttles passengers to the World Trade Center within minutes. The area within a roughly three-block radius around the building had an unemployment rate of just 2.6% in 2015, according to census data.

Under the EB-5 program, a wealthy foreigner can get a fast-track visa granting U.S. residency by investing at least $500,000 in a project in a “targeted employment area.” To qualify, the area must have an unemployment rate at least 1½ times the national average. For developers, the terms of the investment are more favorable than a bank loan.

The Trump administration is considering whether to adopt changes that would prevent EB-5 gerrymandering. Kushner has said he will recuse himself from any discussions on the program.

Kushner Cos., meanwhile, is rushing to raise $150 million in low-cost financing through EB-5 for a separate project in Jersey City: a pair of luxury towers in an area called Journal Square. Kushner’s sister caused a stir this month when she mentioned her brother in a pitch for the project to investors in China.

For that project, too, the company is linking the development to blighted neighborhoods miles to the south while excluding adjoining neighborhoods that have lower unemployment rates, records show.

An executive at U.S. Immigration Fund-NJ, a firm helping Kushner Cos. raise EB-5 money for both projects, defended the practice. Mark Giresi, chief operating officer, called it a “common sense” approach that reflects the broader economic reality of each project’s surroundings. He also said jobs created by the project could be filled by workers from the depressed areas only miles away.

“In large urban markets like Jersey City these types of real estate development projects create much-needed jobs, particularly in the construction industry across areas of the city that cover multiple census tracts,” Giresi said in a statement. Census tracts are government-defined neighborhoods, sometimes as small as a few blocks.

Giresi said the Bay Street project created more than 1,280 construction and other jobs and that 1 Journal Square is projected to create 6,600. Under the program, each $500,000 investment must create at least 10 jobs.

The program’s critics say that cobbling together multiple census tracts to push up the average unemployment rate too often benefits developers and areas that do not need the government help. They point to EB-5 projects in prosperous areas of Manhattan, downtown Washington and in Beverly Hills.

“Many of these affluent-area projects would have been built and jobs created without the infusion of EB-5 capital,” said Gary Friedland, a scholar in residence at New York University’s Stern School of Business. “Consequently, deserving projects can’t be built and the resulting jobs are lost because the projects are deprived of the essential capital to proceed.”

The government caps the number of EB-5 visas it issues each year, and most of the resulting investment goes to high-profile projects in prosperous areas.

A spokeswoman for Kushner Cos. declined to comment, as did Jared Kushner’s spokesman.

Jared Kushner has sold his interest in 1 Journal Square but maintains an ownership stake in 65 Bay Street. The KABR Group, a partner in the luxury tower on Bay Street, also declined to comment.

Kushner’s prominence is drawing renewed attention to the practice, which has been the subject of years of debate in Congress and furious lobbying by the real estate industry. In interviews along Martin Luther King Drive in Jersey City last week, there was a common reaction.

“It’s like we’re being used,” said Helen Gathers, a registered nurse who has lived in Jersey City for 38 years.

Down the block, Laville Penn, a 54-year-old who was released from prison in early 2016 after a drug possession conviction, was looking for employment. He had been searching for steady work in construction for more than six months, he said, but had found only temporary day jobs.

Now, hoping to pick up some hours, he stopped by a lot where a friend was doing contract demolition work. Penn said the high-rises built in Jersey City are typically union jobs. “It’s difficult to get into the union if you don’t have certification or experience,” he said.

The EB-5 program was initiated in 1990 to help attract foreign investment to rural and poor, urban areas that have trouble drawing conventional financing or investment.

But developers are free to string together an endless number of contiguous census tracts until they reach the unemployment threshold. In the years since the Great Recession, this has often meant finding the nearest poor area and drawing a line to it.

Documents obtained from New Jersey through a public records request show just how easy that was for Kushner Cos. and KABR Group as they sought to build the Bay Street tower.

On May 6, 2015, Michael Evans, a consultant working on behalf of the project, sent an email to an official in the New Jersey Department of Labor asking that the Bay Street area be deemed an area with high unemployment. Individual states are responsible for reviewing unemployment data and issuing letters certifying that projects qualify for the federal program.

Evans wrote that such an area could be created by combining 26 census tracts in Jersey City that stretch more than two miles to the northwest and three miles to the southwest.

“The client as always is in a great hurry so if you can e-mail me the letter as soon as it is finished it would be appreciated,” Evans wrote. Evans did not respond to a request for comment.

There was a problem, though. The census tracts weren’t contiguous — and didn’t include the the project itself.

Three weeks later, the state, wrote back that the project qualified under a different but similarly attenuated configuration that achieved the same goal. New Jersey’s state website says it will help developers “perform a special tabulation for the area” of their project using census data.

The state-approved map strung together 16 census tracts that went nearly four miles to the southwest, crossing the New Jersey Turnpike and heading south to the Bergen-Lafayette and Greenville areas. Together, those neighborhoods had an average unemployment rate that edged just higher than 9.3%, the qualifying rate at the time.

That probably saved Kushner and his partners millions of dollars.

Developers typically pay only 4% to 8% interest annually on money raised through EB-5, experts said. Conventional financing can carry an interest rates of between 12% and 18%. On the $50 million for Bay Street, that difference amounts to millions of dollars annually over the life of the loan.

On Jan. 5 of this year, a little over two weeks before Trump was to take office, another consultant working on behalf of Kushner Cos. got in touch with New Jersey state officials again. This time, it was about 1 Journal Square. The census tract where it is located had an unemployment rate of 2.9% in 2015, but the consultant suggested adding five neighborhoods to triple that unemployment rate.

The approval came four days later, records show. Kushner’s sister went to China in May seeking the $150 million in EB-5 financing.

The Trump administration will decide in the coming months whether to enact rules, proposed by the Obama administration, limiting the census tracts that can be considered for EB-5 eligibility to only those directly adjacent to the tract containing the development.

The proposal is being considered by Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly. Under the proposed rules, neither the 65 Bay Street tower nor the proposed 1 Journal Square project would be in a “targeted employment area.”

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-kushner-eb5-20170601-story.html

The Jared Kushner Chronicles – a Rabbi’s Analysis – Where is Kushner’s Charity?

Preface:

We would like to post a disclaimer. Today is Shavuot and it is conceivable that re-posting this on a Chag Regalim when we are not supposed to be working is not something that the author of the piece would have wanted. Suffice it to say, we are some observant and some not so. We do, however, respect those who are observant and keep the chagim and Shabbat. To that end, we are posting but have had this done by the non-Jews among us.

As another note, our decision to repost Rabbi Arthur Waskow’s piece is in no way indicative of any support for this site or its contents. He may one day write a piece condemning us. Should he ask us to take his article down, we will do so without hesitation. Therefore we request that you, our readers, kindly not make any assumptions or come to any conclusions with regard to the respected Rabbi’s writing or this site. We highly value his commentary here. Whether or not he thinks highly of our site is an opinion only he can voice.

Finally, many of the people named in our previous posts, utterly destroyed by Jared Kushner and his companies can be found by searching their names online. Should you feel like giving Tzedukkah or passing something kind forward, we invite you to send them money to help support their lives. Jared Kushner and his companies have filed hundreds of lawsuits against people whose major misfortune was signing a lease with those companies. There are too many to help and it is solely Kushner and his unconscionable companies who should be helping them. However, since Kushner’s greed seems to make that unlike and given that some of these people are in dire straights. If you have something to give, please do so.

To view his piece in its original form. Please see the Shalom Center: https://theshalomcenter.org/torah-vs-jared-kushner

Chag Sameach.

LM

https://theshalomcenter.org/torah-vs-jared-kushner

The Torah vs. Jared Kushner

Tonight we enter the festival that has come to mean standing again, each year, at Sinai. What does it mean for us to do this seriously, taking Torah deep into our lives, challenging ourselves to live by its deepest teachings?

What would it mean to bring Torah to bear on one rich, powerful, and unjust Jew –- Jared Kushner?

Through the last 2,000 years or so of Jewish history, generations of rabbis have defined themselves – our selves – as heirs of the Prophets, not of the priests. Heirs of the Prophetic commitment to challenge unjust and destructive behavior, to reinterpret Torah for the sake of renewing life as the world around us and within us changed.

When Jews lived in self-contained communities, social if not physical ghettos, that degree of social control was workable for the sake of life-giving, justice-living Torah. But as we – for good reason!  — left such social ghettos, the ability of the rabbis or of the community as a whole to rebuke and end destructive and unethical behavior dwindled. So that lifts up the question: What could the Jewish community of today do about such behavior?

I want to lift up a perfect example of how Torah values are trampled underfoot even while the semblance of piety is claimed.  A story of one man who at this moment holds great power and exemplifies in his own person the “kleptocracy” – rule by thieves – that now afflicts us:

The New York Times Magazine of May 23 featured an article entitled “Jared Kushner’s Other Real Estate Empire.”  It describes in stomach-turning detail how Kushner’s real-estate firm, using several shell companies to hide its ownership from public view, has become an oppressor of the poor.

His companies have used false and brutal behavior toward low-income people who are tenants and even former tenants of the Kushner-owned properties, to extract money from them that in fact they don’t owe, ruining their families and their lives.

Since they can’t afford the lawyers who could defend them, they sink deeper and deeper into debt, disaster, and despair.

It seems to me that this behavior by a very high-profile Jew who claims not only the ethnic identity but the religious conviction is exactly what my grandmother called a chillul hashem.

Chillul,” from the same root as “challil,” the hollow flute,  means  hollowing-out — in this case, hollowing out God’s Name.. Since one of the mystics’ metaphors for God is “Tree of Life,” the “hollowing” is an especially powerful imagery.

A person who seems on the outside to be celebrating a living, thriving Sacred Tree of Life has hollowed out all the life-juice within.

The seemingly pious behavior of a seemingly pious Jew actually shatters Torah —  not in the private and self-contained way of a Jew who decides to eat pork; rather, in a way that shatters decency and justice in the public sphere, for many victims.

I urge you to see the article for yourself at —

<https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/23/magazine/jared-kushners-other-real-estate-empire.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=image&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news>

Kushner’s behavior teaches a vile version of what Judaism and the Jewish people are. When Jews lived in self-contained communities, such an ethical and religious violation could be confronted, rebuked, perhaps punished, even healed by repentant self-correction.

Now it is harder. But perhaps it is still possible. I recall the moment when a small group of rabbis in Northern California called themselves  ”the Redwood Rabbis.” With help from The Shalom Center, they challenged a Jewish corporation-owner whose business was logging magnificent 2,000-year-old redwood trees to make paneling for rich people’s basements. The corporation’s own annual report said that redwood paneling without knots sold better, and it came only from ancient trees.

We gathered on Tu B’Shvat, the RebirthDay of the Trees and of the sacred Tree of Life, to “trespass” on his land to rebuke his killing of these sacred trees of life. We placed a critical ad in his home-town Jewish newspaper just before Yom Kippur to call him to do tshuvah.

We voted inside and demonstrated outside when his stockholders gathered for the annual corporate meeting.

And finally, reluctantly, he sold the groves of ancient redwoods to the California and American governments to be protected.

If rabbis then could see the destruction of these trees as a violation of Torah, what could we say now about acts that cruelly destroy the  lives of hard-working human beings? Could we challenge Mr. Kushner in similar ways? If we did, would we risk encouraging anti-Semitism? Or would we risk it more by keeping silent?

Tonight we face the Festival of Shavuot and read the Book of Ruth. It celebrates two people: a penniless foreigner, an immigrant from a despised and hostile nation, a woman unprotected by a man – and  a wealthy landholder who not only obeyed but affirmed the Torah’s command to make sure the poor and the immigrant had dignity and a decent livelihood. Could any teaching be more clear about the malfeasance of Jared Kushner?

Since the NY Times article on Kushner’s domestic business cruelties, there have emerged claims he may have negotiated with the Putin government of Russia in clandestine ways. And Politico has published an article suggesting his connections with the Lubavitch Chabad organization are intertwined with Chabad’s specially cozy relationship with Putin, in a way to benefit him and his father-in-law both financially and politically.

<http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/04/the-happy-go-lucky-jewish-group-that-connects-trump-and-putin-215007>

These allegations may or may not be accurate. They merit close study. But the cruelty of his business dealings in Baltimore and elsewhere is clear, already proved.

Most American Jews have made clear that they do not view Mr. Kushner or his kleptocratic and authoritarian bully of a father-in-law as heroes.

But the established “major” organizations have so far not rebuked such behavior by rich Jews, nor have the rabbis who might be thought to be the guardians of Torah.  What more might we do to stand again at Sinai and to clarify what Judaism ought to be, in actual practice?

Blessings that we come to live more fully in a a world that as the ancient Rabbis taught, can stand up straight only if it stands upon three pillars: Emet, Tzedek, v’Shalom: Truth, Justice, and Peace —

Arthur

JK2 Westminster – Jared Kushner’s Real Estate Empire and the Lives He Has Destroyed, Humiliated, Nicked and Dimed.. Have you no Conscience???

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The Beleaguered Tenants of ‘Kushnerville’

Tenants in more than a dozen Baltimore-area rental complexes complain about a property owner who they say leaves their homes in disrepair, humiliates late-paying renters and often sues them when they try to move out. Few of them know that their landlord is the president’s son-in-law.

https://www.propublica.org/article/the-beleaguered-tenants-of-kushnerville?

Victims of Jared Kushner’s Greed and Jeffrey Tapper’s Profitable Lawyering:

  1. Kamiia Warren – single mother – sued for thousands over 3 years and 112 actions

  2. Jasmine Cox – Maggots – Sewage flowing out of kitchen sick – sued for replacing carpet

  3. Joan Beverly  – pancreatic cancer victim sued for thousands

  4. Katherine Silver – University Student – eviction proceedings while away, no heat or hot water and sued for rent and court costs

  5. Joan Beverly’s Daughter Lennettea – defending dying mother who signed her lease for her

  6. Tyrone Beverly – Joan Beverly’s widower still being pursued for payments

  7. Showanda Hough – A victim who fought back – exception – Judge found for Hough

  8. Alishia Jamesson and Fiance Keith Riggs – Paid to fix holes in walls – remain unrepaired, no refrigerator for months

  9. Marquita Parmely – truck driver – mouse infestation

  10. Chris Freimiller – leaks from the toilet and ceiling damage and constant late fees

  11. Jen Jackson – mold problem remains unfixed and admonished for speaking with press

  12. Mike McHargue  and girlfriend Patricia Howell

 

“When Kushner Companies finally responded to my questions about the cases, they essentially affirmed Hertz’s reasoning. As manager for the Baltimore complexes, the company had a “fiduciary obligation” to its ownership partners to collect as much revenue as it could, said Kushner Companies’ chief financial officer, Jennifer McLean, in a written response. She said the company’s legal costs have been “minimal” compared with what it seeks to recover.
McLean declined to comment on several cases, including Kamiia Warren’s. But she said the pursuit of Joan Beverly, the woman dying of cancer, was justified. “This tenant owed the landlord $3,819.16,” she said in the written statement. “As property manager, it’s our job to collect rent payments.”
In general, “Westminster Management only takes legal action against a tenant when absolutely necessary,” McLean said. “If legal action is pursued, however, the company follows guidelines consistent with industry standards.” She added: “While taking a tenant to court is far from an ideal outcome, that option — and clear rules governing it — must exist as a last resort.””
https://www.propublica.org/article/the-beleaguered-tenants-of-kushnerville?

 

Meet Jared Kushner, scumbag slumlord

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/5/29/1665349/-Meet-Jared-Kushner-scumbag-slumlord

Did you know Trump son-in-law and now Adviser For All The Things Jared Kushner is a slumlord? Yeah, Jared Kushner is a slumlord.

The worst troubles may have been those described in a 2013 court case involving Jasmine Cox’s unit at Cove Village. They began with the bedroom ceiling, which started leaking one day. Then maggots started coming out of the living room carpet. Then raw sewage started flowing out of the kitchen sink. “It sounded like someone turned a pool upside down,” Cox told me. “I heard the water hitting the floor and I panicked. I got out of bed and the sink is black and gray, it’s pooling out of the sink and the house smells terrible.”Cox stopped cooking for herself and her son, not wanting food near the sink. A judge allowed her reduced rent for one month. When she moved out soon afterward, Westminster Management sent her a $600 invoice for a new carpet and other repairs. Cox, who is now working as a battery-test engineer and about to buy her first home, was unaware who was behind the company that had put her through such an ordeal. When I told her of Kushner’s involvement, there was a silence as she took it in.

“Get that [expletive] out of here,” she said.

That’s from Alec MacGillis’ investigation into the state of multiple Kushner-owned properties managed under the name JK2 Westminster, and specifically of the company’s unusually aggressive court actions against renters. The Kushner clan bought up an array of distressed and dilapidated properties, older complexes where renters pay about $1,000 a month, and Jared’s quite pleased with their performance, calling it a “very stable asset class.” As CEO of the company up until he got tapped by Donald Trump to fix the entire Middle East, the opiate crisis, and whatever else ya got, one of the ways Jared squeezed more money out of the properties than the previous owners was to shortchange renters on needed fixes—and then sue them when they tried to move out.

In the cases that Tapper has brought to court on behalf of JK2 Westminster and individual Kushner-controlled companies, there is a clear pattern of Kushner Companies’ pursuing tenants over virtually any unpaid rent or broken lease — even in the numerous cases where the facts appear to be on the tenants’ side. Not only does the company file cases against them, it pursues the cases for as long as it takes to collect from the overmatched defendants — often several years.

You can see why Trump’s taken such a liking to the guy: he’s a Trump man through and through. Trump will charge lower-income Americans extravagant prices for not-classes at his not-university, and Kushner will sue them for past rent when they get back home.

And so we’re told the tale of collapsed drywall ceilings, mice in beds, nonworking appliances, and the usual signs you’re living in a complex owned by someone who may or may not later end up in jail. Those go alongside tales of Kushner’s company aggressively pursuing $5,000 judgments against deceased cancer patients, or people who have been made sick from the mold or rodent droppings, or people who got permission to leave their leases early from the local property manager but the head office never got the paperwork so screw you, that’s why.

Very few of the complex residents I met, even ones who had been pursued at length in court by JK2 Westminster, had any idea that their rent and late fees were going to the family company of the president’s son-in-law. “That Jared Kushner?” Danny Jackson, a plumber in his 15th year living at Harbor Point Estates, exclaimed. “Oh, my God. And I thought he was the good one.”

Yeah, he does try to give that impression. So, ya know … oops.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/5/29/1665349/-Meet-Jared-Kushner-scumbag-slumlord