(Bloomberg)—Trump Bay Street, a New Jersey luxury apartment tower part-owned by Kushner Cos., received a $200 million loan from Citigroup, according to two people familiar with the deal.
It’s a coup for Kushner Cos. and their partner KABR Group, which need the funds to repay a construction loan that came due in September, as well as individual Chinese investors who put $50 million in the building through a visa-for-investment program. The companies had trouble finding lenders last year after Jared Kushner’s sister traveled to China, Bloomberg reported at the time.
Kushner Cos. is owned by the family of Jared Kushner, son-in-law and senior adviser to President Donald Trump. The company and its partners have come under scrutiny as they do deals while Kushner undertakes U.S. policy.
Danielle Romero-Apsilos, a Citigroup spokeswoman, said the Bay Street loan wasn’t discussed at a March 2017 White House meeting attended by CEO Mike Corbat and Jared Kushner that was highlighted in a New York Times story. Citigroup issued a $325 million loan for a separate Kushner development later that month.
Corbat was unaware that the bank was in the process of closing a real estate loan to the Kushner Cos. venture when he met with Jared Kushner, the bank said in a Tuesday letter to Democratic senators.
Kushner Cos. and KABR declined to comment. None of the firms shared the terms of the loan, or otherwise described how they compare to market rates. The Kushner Cos. website notes that it refinanced the property, located at 65 Bay St. in Jersey City, for $240 million.
The Trump name is used under license for the property and neither Donald Trump nor the Trump Organization own a stake in Trump Bay Street, according to the building’s website. Kushner Cos. owns 12.5 percent of the property, including a 2 percent stake held by Jared Kushner through a trust, Citigroup said in the letter to lawmakers without naming the project. A person briefed on the financing confirmed that it referred to the Bay Street property.
About a quarter of Trump Bay Street’s $194-million development was funded with loans from the the EB-5 visa program that grants wealthy foreigners green cards in exchange for investing in U.S. projects. Last May, Jared Kushner’s sister went to China to pitch potential investors on another development, but the effort drew scrutiny because the presentations featured a photo of Donald Trump and mentioned her brother’s ascension to the White House.
Afterward, some large U.S. banks shied away from refinancing the 50-story Trump Bay Street because of the property’s connection to Kushner and the visa program, a person familiar with the talks told Bloomberg at the time.
To contact the reporters on this story: Dakin Campbell in New York at [email protected]; David Kocieniewski in New York at [email protected]; Caleb Melby in New York at [email protected] To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeffrey D Grocott at [email protected] Alan Katz, Frank Connelly
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