Kushners Purchase Jersey Shore Hotel to Increase N.J. Portfolio

May 16, 2018
by Justin Hughes

LONG BRANCH, N.J. — Kushner Companies, which has gradually been reinvesting in New Jersey since it appeared to leave more than a decade ago, has acquired another New Jersey property for its portfolio. The real estate development company – whose former Chief Executive Officer was Jared Kushner, current White House Advisor – publicized its procurement of the Bungalow Hotel, a boutique hotel located along the Jersey Shore in Long Branch.

The 24-room property, designed by HGTV’s Cortney and Robert Novogratz, has been labeled trendy and chic by travel writers, and is located in Pier Village, a complex of shops, restaurants and apartments on the beach, which is part of why Kushner Cos. Company officials chose not to disclose a purchase price.

Will Obeid, Head of Hospitality for Kushner, said in a statement, “Since it first opened its doors in 2009, Bungalow Hotel has attracted both tourists and local guests with a creative spirit. We were impressed by the hotel’s spacious room layouts and vibrant design, which attracts an upscale clientele for both long-term and short-term stays.”

Jared Kushner, who has sold some of his holdings in Kushner Cos. since joining the Trump Administration as an advisor to the president, maintains an ownership stake in the company, including Pier Village. Kushner Cos. continues to land New Jersey acquisitions in recent years, after selling off most of its New Jersey properties to focus on New York. Once a huge player in New Jersey’s rental market, the company shifted its focus to New York in 2006, when Kushner with his father, Charles Kushner, acquired 666 Fifth Avenue, a 41-story skyscraper, for $1.8 Billion USD.

To pay for what was anticipated to be a trophy building, they sold off many of its New Jersey apartment properties and moved the company headquarters from New Jersey to Manhattan. That decision continues to be felt in New Jersey. Analysts say the company largely overpaid for the Fifth Avenue tower and the building, purchased at the height of the real estate boom, is not fully rented. The building holds a $1.2 Billion USD mortgage due in February 2019. However while the company has left other New York projects, it has made a resurgence in the New Jersey market over the past few years.

Earlier this year, the company closed on Prospect Place, a 360-unit multi-family rental property in Hackensack — its fourth New Jersey apartment acquisition since 2012, which includes Quail Ridge in Plainsboro, a 1,032-unit complex in southern Middlesex County purchased for $190 million in 2017, and Chatham Hill, a 308-unit garden apartment complex on 23 acres in Chatham Township, purchased in 2015 for $123 million. The company earlier this year broke ground on another hotel in Piers Village, the Piers Village Hotel, as part of a build-out of the third and final phase of the beachfront development. And lastly, according to The New York Times, the Kushners have been in private discussions to have President Trump’s company manage at least one hotel at the center of the development.

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