A provision in President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax cuts package opened new incentives for real estate developers to invest in poor communities across the U.S., and Kushner Cos. — the family business of White House senior adviser Jared Kushner — is already cashing in.
Pier Village promotes itself as a “jewel on the New Jersey coast.” It features Victorian-inspired oceanfront apartments, a pool club, and expensive restaurants. At a shoreline property built by Extell Development Co. in partnership with Kushner Cos., 786-square-foot one-bedroom apartments are being marketed for as much as $2,765 a month. At an adjacent development site, Kushner Cos. is constructing a 72-room luxury hotel.
The area is also, officially, distressed. That’s because this section of Long Branch, N.J., has been deemed an “opportunity zone,” a classification created in President Trump’s 2017 tax law, meant to spur investment in poor communities. Real estate developers are eligible for generous perks that include deferring some taxes and avoiding them altogether on future capital gains from projects in these areas if they own them for more than a decade. Kushner Cos. is one of many developers buying into about 9,000 opportunity zones across the country.
Only property purchased since the law was enacted is eligible, meaning the apartment building and the planned hotel can’t directly benefit. But since the area received the designation in April, Kushner Cos., owned by the family of Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has spent more than $13 million buying additional properties in the zone, putting the company in position to take advantage of the tax breaks on future projects in the expanding beachfront complex. Jared Kushner hasn’t had any role in Kushner Cos. since becoming a senior adviser to the president in January 2017, his representatives have repeatedly said. A spokeswoman for the company didn’t comment.