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Kushner drops stake in Brooklyn’s iconic Watchtower complex

Kushner drops stake in Brooklyn’s iconic Watchtower complex
[Photo: Sergio Herrera/Wikimedia Commons]

When Kushner Companies unveiled its plans for 25-30 Columbia Heights, a prime development opportunity overlooking the East River in Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood, we wondered whether the real estate firm’s White House ties would deter prospective tenants. The complex, slated to contain 635,000 square feet of office space and 35,000 square feet of retail space when complete, was being designed for a “global economy” company along the lines of GE or IBM, developers told us. But it was difficult to imagine that a company with such a complex, global footprint would feel comfortable with the optics of paying rent, however indirectly, to Jared Kushner, whose White House policy portfolio includes issues ranging from American innovation to peace in the Middle East.

Well, it looks like our concerns have been realized. According to the New York Post, Kushner Companies has quietly divested from 25-30 Columbia Heights, as well as a second Dumbo site. Kushner sold its 2.5% stake to CIM Group, already the majority owner. LIVWRK, the complex’s third investment partner, will retain its 2.5% stake. The three partners acquired the property in 2016 for $340 million.

It’s now been over a year since Kushner, LIVWRK, and CIM began marketing the property to tenants. As Kushner cashes out, they are still seeking the anchor tenant that would guide (and help fund) their gut remodel of the office space.

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