Talk about keeping it in the family: Jared Kushner’s family business is in talks with President Donald Trump’s business to operate a hotel in the former’s Jersey Shore project, Pier Village.
Discussions have reportedly been ongoing for two years and a letter of intent has been signed between the two companies, Kushner Companies and the Trump Organization, for the latter to operate at least one hotel in the development, according to the New York Times.
Pier Village is co-owned by Kushner Companies and Extell Development, who bought the resort property for about $200 million in 2014. Last March, The Real Deal reported the third phase of the Pier Village development would include 269 new condo units as well as additional retail space and a hotel.
The Kushners and Trumps’ potential hotel deal raised questions from the Trump Organization’s external ethics adviser, which the Times cited as one of the reasons the deal has not yet been finalized.
Independent parties such as attorney Marilyn Glynn, formerly general counsel in the Office of Government Ethics, are also raising ethical concerns, however she noted that a deal between the Kushners and Trumps’ businesses does not intrinsically violate any ethical rules. To Glynn, the concern is more to do with the financial arrangements of both Trump and Kushner with their respective companies.
“I think the financial concerns trump the familial ones, so to speak,” she told the Times.
Kushner, who is currently a senior adviser to President Trump, resigned his position as CEO of Kushner Companies a little over a year ago to serve in the White House. Though Kushner sold some of his real estate assets, he kept a stake in Pier Village.
For as for Trump, he continues to own the Trump Organization, however the company is now managed by his sons. Most of his assets are in a revocable trust, as TRD reported.
The White House confirmed the two companies’ discussions over a potential hotel deal, but did not comment further. [NYT] — Erin Hudson