Kushner Wraps 85 Jay for $345 Million, Big Deal to Bring Thousands of Residents to Dumbo

Photos by Lori Berkowitz viaWikipedia and Barbara Eldredge

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Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of president-elect Donald Trump and owner of a number of Brooklyn developments has done it again.

Kushner has landed Dumbo’s biggest fish — 85 Jay Street.

Kushner and his partners, CIM Group and LIVWRK, announced the sale this morning. The purchase price was $345 million, unnamed sources familiar with the deal told Brownstoner — making it one of the biggest Brooklyn deals of the year.

trump son in law kushner 85 jay street

Photo via Watchtower

It’s absolutely massive

85 Jay Street doesn’t currently look like much – it’s a parking lot. But with a 135,000-square-foot footprint, it’s simply massive in size and any development would be capable of utterly transforming Dumbo in a major way.

The partners said they plan to turn it into a mixed-use building. There’s a few reasons why 85 Jay Street is such a big deal, and they center on size, history, and price.

trump son in law kushner 85 jay street

Workers paint the metal fence surrounding the 85 Jay Street parking lot in 2015. Photo by Barbara Eldredge

It could dramatically increase Dumbo’s population

Thanks to an upzoning in 2004, the lot comes with 1.1 million buildable square feet. The development could rise as high as 20 stories and increase Dumbo’s current population by 44 percent.

Individual condo units will sell for millions, and there is no requirement that the developers include affordable housing.

“We feel fortunate to be co-developing this game-changing project together with CIM and Kushner,” said Asher Abehsera, Founder and CEO of LIVWRK in a statement. “85 Jay Street has long been the hole in the Dumbo doughnut. We aim to introduce a world-class project to the vibrant waterfront district.”

Like a number of other properties in the vicinity, 85 Jay Street was formerly owned by the Jehovah’s Witnesses. They originally planned a massive complex of four towers up to 20 stories tall. But the plan never came together and the lot remains just that: a place to park cars.

trump son in law kushner 85 jay street

Photo by Barbara Eldredge

Kushner is big in Brooklyn

Kushner and his partners own quite a few Brooklyn properties, all of them acquired recently.

The partners snagged Watchtower headquarters at 25 Columbia Heights in Brooklyn Heights earlier this year for $340 million. Kushner and his partners RFR Holding and LIVWRK made headlines in 2013 for their acquisition of five former Jehovah’s Witnesses office buildings for $375 million, that year’s biggest deal in New York City. They’ve converted it into a modern office and retail complex called Dumbo Heights.

It remains to be seen how Kushner will handle his business interests if he takes a job with his father-in-law’s new administration.

The firm, which recently simplified its name and is now just Kushner, is represented by press relations outfit Risa Heller Communications. The company has had many clients who are key players in Brooklyn real estate and development, including Brooklyn Bridge Park, Fortis Property Group and Downtown Brooklyn Partnership.

 Witnesses HQ just down the street at 25-30 Columbia Heights. Photo by Sergio Herrera via Wikipedia

Jehovah’s Witnesses headquarters at 25-30 Columbia Heights in Brooklyn Heights. Photo by Sergio Herrera via Wikipedia

The bottom line

Development on the site could increase the total population of Dumbo by thousands. That would make a definitive difference in the busy waterfront locale under the Manhattan Bridge.

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