Aby Rosen has come out with a strong statement against presidential hopeful Donald Trump.
The immigrant developer, who hails from Germany, could be in for some awkward conversations with business partner and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner after plastering a massive billboard urging New Yorkers to “Vote Your Conscience” on a development site he owns at 337 Lafayette Street.
The RFR Holding chief posted an image of the billboard on his Instagram account early this morning, with the comment, “Wake up America.” The poster is a nod to former presidential candidate Ted Cruz’s refusal to endorse Trump. Speaking at the Republican National Convention last month, Cruz instead urged Americans to vote according to their “consciences.”
Neither Rosen nor Kushner immediately responded to requests for comment. A Trump spokesperson also did not immediately respond.
The statement is particularly noteworthy since Rosen is widely known to be a partner of Kushner’s. The pair partnered in 2014 to buy an office complex in Dumbo from the Jehovah’s Witnesses for a whopping $375 million, alongside Asher Abehsera’s LIVWRK and Invesco, and they continue to work together to rehab the complex and ink deals with new creative and tech tenants such as WeWork and Etsy.
Notably, Rosen was slated to partner again with Kushner on his more recent purchase of the nearby Witnesses’ Watchtower building at 25-30 Columbia Heights for $340 million but backed out before the deal closed. California-based private equity giant CIM took his place. It wasn’t clear if his anti-Trump sentiment had anything to do with his decision not to take part in the transaction.
RFR bought the Lafayette Street site, formerly the home of the “Peace Pentagon,” for $20.7 million, last year, records show. It’s a block north of Kushner Company’s Puck Building.