Kushner Cos. buying 1,000-unit suburban apartment portfolio

Family firm in contract to pay more than $260M for the portfolio in NJ and NY

Charlie Kushner and Laurent Morali with the Pierre Apartments in Hackensack, New Jersey (Credit: Sasha Maslov, Pierre Apartments)
Charlie Kushner and Laurent Morali with the Pierre Apartments in Hackensack, New Jersey (Credit: Pierre Apartments)

Kushner Companies is making another big apartment play in the suburbs.

The firm is in contract to pay $266.5 million for a portfolio of seven rental buildings in New Jersey and New York from First Real Estate Investment Trust of New Jersey, the seller announced Wednesday.

The portfolio totals 1,058 units in garden-style apartments in the New Jersey towns of Wayne, River Edge, Westwood Hills, Rockaway and Redbank; and in Middletown, N.Y. There’s also a high-rise apartment tower in Hackensack, N.J.

The largest development is the 266-unit Pierre Towers in Hackensack. The Regency Club in Middletown has 132 units.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of the year.

Westwood Hills Apartments (Credit: Apartments) 

Westwood Hills Apartments (Credit: Apartments)

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For Kushner, the deal is the latest in a push into the suburban multifamily market the company’s focused on since unburdening itself of the financially troubled 666 Fifth Avenue office tower by selling a ground lease on the property to Brookfield Asset Management in 2018.

The family firm last year paid $1.1 billion to buy a portfolio of 6,000 rental apartments in Maryland and Virginia from private-equity firm Lone Star Funds. Unlike that portfolio, the latest acquisition includes markets where the Kushners have long owned similar types of properties.

Kushner family patriarch Charlie Kushner has been at the helm of the firm ever since his son, former CEO Jared Kushner, left to work as a senior adviser in the Trump administration in 2017. And while critics have accused the Kushners of having conflicts of interest regarding Jared’s government job and his family business, the firm has run into other troubles.

The attorney general of Maryland in 2017 launched an investigation into claims that the company harassed tenants at 15 apartment buildings in the Baltimore area. The Kushners rejected a settlement offer last summer with the AG’s office, which filed a lawsuit in October. Morali said at the time that the company will defend itself in court.

In New York City, Councilmember Ritchie Torres last year accused the family real estate firm of operating eight East Village rental buildings without certificates of occupancy.

A spokesperson for Kushner said the company inherited the C of O problems from the previous owner when it acquired the properties, and said it would work to correct the issue.