The Real Deal New York

Kushner mic drop: Developer scraps $500M NJ mall plans

Firm faced some local opposition to proposed zoning changes
April 28, 2016 05:45PM

Rendering of the redeveloped Monmouth Mall (inset: Jared Kushner)

Rendering of the redeveloped Monmouth Mall (inset: Jared Kushner)

Jared Kushner has left the building — specifically, a mall in New Jersey where he was planning a $500 million overhaul.

Representatives for Kushner Cos. stunned local officials and residents Wednesday night when they announced that they would no longer pursue plans to redevelop the Monmouth Mall in Eatontown, N.J., NJ Advance Media reported. The abrupt departure seemed precipitated, in part, by the municipal government’s opposition to a zoning change that would have allowed 800 apartments on the mall property.

“We thought we were making great headway as far as working with the municipality in improving the mall,” Jenny Bernell, director of development at Kushner Companies, told a crowd at a Eatontown council meeting on Wednesday. “Given the response tonight, we realize that those changes are not welcome and we are planning to leave the mall as is.”

Following the announcement, Bernell and other Kushner representatives left the meeting, to some applause. The developer planned to transform the mall into a mix of open air and indoor retail, along with apartments. The proposed zoning change would have cleared the way for up to 800 apartments and a hotel. [NJ Advance Media] — Kathryn Brenzel