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Kushner Cos. Issues An Apology For Name-Dropping, Says Company Was Not Using White House Ties To Draw Investors

Kushner Cos. issued a statement Monday afternoon apologizing for name-dropping Jared Kushner, son-in-law and senior adviser to President Donald Trump, during a pitch to Chinese investors to fund a New Jersey project this weekend.

During an event at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Beijing on Saturday, Kushner’s sister, Nicole Meyer, mentioned her brother’s role in the Trump administration while she pitched a $150M Jersey City housing project, called One Journal Square, to more than 100 Chinese investors.

The rendering of 660 Fifth Ave., the redevelopment of 666 Fifth Ave., planned by Kushner Companies and designed by Zaha Hadid
The rendering of 660 Fifth Ave., the redevelopment of 666 Fifth Ave., once planned by Kushner Cos. and designed by Zaha Hadid

Critics said the Kushner family was trying to get investors to fund its projects through the EB-5 visa program by highlighting Jared Kushner’s close ties to the president. But a Kushner Cos. spokesperson strongly contested these claims when Bisnow asked about them Monday, saying it was never the company's intent to lure investors. 

“In the course of discussing this project and the firm's history with potential investors, Ms. Meyer wanted to make clear that her brother had stepped away from the company in January and has nothing to do with this project," the spokesperson said. "Kushner Cos. apologizes if that mention of her brother was in any way interpreted as an attempt to lure investors. That was not Ms. Meyer's intention.”

Former President George W. Bush’s chief White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter, known as a strong critic of the Trump administration, had very strong opinions regarding Meyer's comments.

“It’s incredibly stupid and highly inappropriate,” Painter told the Washington Post. "They clearly imply that the Kushners are going to make sure you get your visa." 

The One Journal Square project, which is scheduled to come online in 2018, has two towers with 1,476 high-end apartment and a medical center for pets.

"The proposed One Journal Square project will provide $180M in tax revenue for Jersey City over the next 30 years, more than 4,000 union construction jobs, and direct funding for a memorial plaza and local arts initiatives, among other benefits," a Kushner Cos.' spokesperson said.