Showing posts with label Donald Trump. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Donald Trump. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Noted

As seen this afternoon on the Bowery at Bleecker... photo by Robert Miner...

Monday, April 3, 2017

A look at Jared Kushner's financial disclosure report


[EVG file photo]

Details of Jared Kushner's real-estate empire were made public in documents released late Friday night, according to published reports. As Bloomberg reported, Kushner, the son-in-law and senior adviser to President Donald Trump, "held personal lines of credit of as much as $90 million to 10 financial institutions as of his Jan. 22 appointment to the White House."

The New York Times reports that Kushner resigned from more than 200 positions in the partnerships and limited liability companies that make up the family real-estate business, which has acquired $7 billion worth of commercial and residential property over the last decade.

The 54-page financial disclosure report shows, however, that "Kushner will remain a beneficiary of most of those same entities," worth at least hundreds of millions of dollars.

The Times on Saturday examined the "perilous legal and ethical ground" that Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, are on now.

Unlike Mr. Trump, who is exempt from conflict of interest laws, both Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump — who took a formal White House position this past week — are forbidden under federal criminal and civic law to take any action that might benefit their particular financial holdings.

In 2013, the Kushner Companies started buying up some 40-plus buildings in the East Village. According to the Cooper Square Committee, only Steve Croman owns more residential buildings in the East Village than Kushner does. The properties are managed by Westminster Management, a division of Kushner Companies.

Meanwhile, Kushner will be keeping very busy. Last week, the President appointed him to lead the newly created White House Office of American Innovation. (Read the official White House memo on this here.)

Per The Washington Post:

Kushner’s ambitions for what the new office can achieve are grand. At least to start, the team plans to focus its attention on reimagining Veterans Affairs; modernizing the technology and data infrastructure of every federal department and agency; remodeling workforce-training programs; and developing “transformative projects” under the banner of Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan, such as providing broadband Internet service to every American.

Already on Kushner's to-do list: brokering a peace pact between Israel and the Palestinians.

One last note... Elizabeth Spiers has a piece in The Washington Post about her time working as editor-in-chief of The New York Observer under Kushner's ownership.

I inherited an office and a desktop computer, both in fine but used condition. The computer was a recent-model Mac, but when I turned it on, it was inexplicably running Windows. I summoned our beleaguered IT guy to explain, and he informed me that it had belonged to Kushner, who liked the design of Apple products but preferred the Windows OS.

“So he was basically using a $2,500 desktop as a monitor?” I asked. The IT guy shrugged.

In retrospect, this tiny moment seems like a metaphor. Frankensteining two products you appreciate into one product you appreciate even more isn’t irrational; it’s even creative, in a way. On the other hand, why did the newspaper’s owner need a $2,500 monitor? How was it anything but a vanity object?

Monday, January 30, 2017

Noted

Spotted on the streets...

14th Street at First Avenue...



...the Bowery at Third Street...



10th Street near Avenue A...



Avenue B at Sixth Street...

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Details on tomorrow's 'Lower East Side Rally Against Hate' in Tompkins Square Park



Via Facebook...

SAVE THE DATE! "Lower East Side Rally Against Hate" on Jan. 30 (Monday)

Tompkins Square Park — entrance on East 7th Street & Avenue A

Join Councilwoman Rosie Mendez, elected officials, faith leaders, and community organizers to stand together against the Trump Administration's Executive Orders targeting Muslims and all immigrants.

Time: 6:30pm until 7:30pm
Join together to tell Donald Trump #NoBanNoWall

Find more details here

Also today at 2 p.m. — #NoBanNoWall rally in Battery Park City. Details here.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Saturday, January 21, 2017

[Updated] At the Women's March on NYC



EVG correspondent Steven shares a few photos from along the Women's March on NYC route this afternoon...









Crowd estimates in NYC are at 200,000400,000-plus (see below) ... the route stretches from 47th Street and Second Avenue to the Trump Tower. There are reportedly hundreds of other marches in cities across the world ... "to march in support of equality and promote civil rights for every human."


And a few more photos via Steven...











And via Derek Berg...



















Friday, January 13, 2017

East Village groups to Mayor de Blasio: Jared Kushner’s actions are not those of someone who 'cares deeply about NYC'



On Monday, President-elect Trump officially named his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as a senior White House adviser. Later that day, Mayor de Blasio praised Kushner during an unrelated press conference.

"About the person of Jared Kushner — I respect him a lot," de Blasio, who has opposed Trump, told reporters, as reported by Politico. "He's certainly someone I’ve been talking to over these last weeks. He's someone I intend to stay in touch with on behalf of the people of New York City. He's someone who really cares about New York City and is someone that would be very helpful to us. So I’m certainly pleased he’ll be in that role.

"And I can say clearly compared to many other people who've been named to other positions, I find him to be a lot more reasonable and a lot more moderate."

The mayor's praise and endorsement drew a response from two East Village-based community groups. Here's s a copy of the statement signed by Steve Herrick, executive director of the Cooper Square Committee, and Risa Shoup, executive director of Fourth Arts Block released yesterday:

Mayor de Blasio seems hopeful that his friendly relationship with Jared Kushner may be of some benefit to New York City, but our community has not benefited at all from Kushner’s ownership of close to forty buildings in the East Village.

Kushner has brought nothing but unaffordable, luxury housing to this community and to NYC at large. While we are in the grips of an intense housing crisis, and homeless rates are at an all-time high & virtually every regulated tenant in the city is facing harassment, Kushner has converted scores of affordable rent regulated apartments into luxury housing that rent for $3,000-$5,000 per month. In doing so, Kushner has faced allegations of harassment and lack of essential services repeatedly. Numerous articles have chronicled Kushner’s bad-acting over his four years of ownership here in East Village.

We say to the Mayor that Jared Kushner’s actions are not those of somebody who “cares deeply about New York City.” We say that Kushner’s actions have contributed greatly to the loss of affordable housing. Furthermore, if the Mayor stands by his words and thinks Jared Kushner is “reasonable and moderate,” we suggest the Mayor come meet with Kushner tenants in the East Village to hear what they’ve been through under his ownership.

There haven't been any shortage of tenant horror stories since Kushner started buying up properties here in 2013.

The Village Voice spoke with some of those tenants for a piece titled "Jared Kushner's East Village Tenants 'Horrified' Their Landlord Will Be Working in the White House."

Per the article:

"Trump's appointment of Kushner is in keeping with his cabinet selections of amoral billionaire crooks, liars, and thieves," says another East Village rent-stabilized tenant, who asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation. "This guy's company preys on the feeble and infirm, lies, charges illegal late fees, puts tenants at risk in myriad ways, whose overall message to tenants is a shrug and a 'you get what pay for' re: heat, gas, hot water, modern plumbing, and electricity."

"We felt the complete lack of empathy and compassion from our landlord," she adds. "The whole country’s going to experience what we’ve been going through."

Previously on EV Grieve:
[Updated] Report: Jared Kushner buys $130 million portfolio of East Village rental buildings

Report: Jared Kushner paid $49 million for 7 more Ben Shaoul-owned properties in the East Village

More about Jared Kushner's East Village buying spree

Soon, we will all be writing our rent checks to Jared Kushner

Tenants claim: Kushner and Westminster want to destroy this building's beautiful garden

Reports outline how Kushner Companies is aggressively trying to empty 170-174 E. 2nd St.

Local politicos join residents of 2 Jared Kushner-owned buildings to speak out about poor living conditions, alleged harassment

Jared Kushner's residents at 118 E. 4th St. would like gas for cooking and some heat

Jared Kushner's East Village tenants wish he'd resolve issues closer to home

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The art of the deal at Taj Restaurant



Several EVG readers noted the ongoing special at the old timer on Sixth Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue ...



It's a "Trump Surprise" with 50 percent off all ... "whenever we decide." (Sounds like a gag leftover from former neighbor 'Merica NYC.)

In any event, the 25-year-old, family-owned Taj Restaurant was closed for part of the fall... a sign pointed to an issue with Con Ed...


[Photo from October]

The restaurant reopened in November... and they seem to be emphasizing more of their later-evening bar business...




Monday, January 9, 2017

[Updated] East Village landlord Jared Kushner's path to the White House


This past weekend, The New York Times took a deep dive on Jared Kushner, President-elect Donald Trump's son-in-law, as he continues to play a key role in the new administration.

The Page 1 piece shows the web of potential conflicts of interest that Kushner could face in Trump's administration. The article centers on a celebratory dinner on Nov. 16 in a private dining room at the Waldorf Astoria. Kushner was close to a joint-venture agreement with Wu Xiaohui, the chairman of Anbang Insurance Group, to help redevelop the Kushner-owned 666 Fifth Ave.

As the Times noted, the byzantine ownership structure of Anbang, which has close ties to the Chinese state, "has seen its aggressive efforts to buy up hotels in the United States slowed amid concerns raised by Obama administration officials who review foreign investments for national security risk."

Per the Times:

[W]ith Mr. Kushner laying the groundwork for his own White House role, the meeting at the Waldorf shines a light on his family’s multibillion-dollar business, Kushner Companies, and on the ethical thicket he would have to navigate while advising his father-in-law on policy that could affect his bottom line.

And...

Matthew T. Sanderson, a lawyer at Caplin & Drysdale and former general counsel to Senator Rand Paul’s presidential campaign, said deals like the one with Anbang “might not be illegal under the conflict-of-interest rules, but raise a strong appearance that a foreign entity is using Mr. Kushner’s business to try to influence U.S. policy.”

The article also notes that Kushner will resign as chief executive of Kushner Companies.

Starting in 2013, Kushner has bought 40-plus buildings in the East Village. According to the Cooper Square Committee, only Steve Croman owns more residential buildings in the East Village than Kushner does.

Under Kushner's ownership, tenants have accused his management company, among other things, of aggressive tactics to remove rent-stabilized residents ... while failing to provide gas for cooking and heat.

Updated 8:14 p.m.

Kushner will be named senior adviser to the president, CNN reports.

Previously on EV Grieve:
[Updated] Report: Jared Kushner buys $130 million portfolio of East Village rental buildings

Soon, we will all be writing our rent checks to Jared Kushner

Tenants claim: Kushner and Westminster want to destroy this building's beautiful garden

Reports outline how Kushner Companies is aggressively trying to empty 170-174 E. 2nd St.

Local politicos join residents of 2 Jared Kushner-owned buildings to speak out about poor living conditions, alleged harassment

Jared Kushner's residents at 118 E. 4th St. would like gas for cooking and some heat

Jared Kushner's East Village tenants wish he'd resolve issues closer to home

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Monday, December 12, 2016

#notourpresident storefront not coming to 2nd Avenue


[Reader photo from Nov. 18]

As we first noted on Nov. 19, coming soon signage arrived for #notourpresident on an empty storefront (No. 64) on Second Avenue between Fourth Street and Third Street.

The #notourpresident sparked some speculation, especially when there was a cafe sign in view as well. (Maybe this would be another attempt at satire like the dearly departed 'Merica on Sixth Street.)

In any event, the signage is gone, and the for rent banner is back in view ...



The asking rent here is $13,000, per the listing.

The space previously housed NYC Velo, who moved next door in March.

Velo was curious too about what might coming next door...

Friday, December 2, 2016

Jared Kushner's East Village tenants wish he'd resolve issues closer to home


[Page 1 of the Journal from Tuesday]

Since the election, Jared Kushner, President-elect Donald Trump's son-in-law, has been the subject of Page 1 stories in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times ... as well as the cover of the latest issue of Forbes...



As the Times and other media outlets have reported, Kushner, 35, who is married to Trump’s elder daughter, Ivanka, "is exploring the prospects of joining the administration as a formal, but unpaid, adviser." During the presidential campaign, Kushner became an integral member of Trump's inner circle.

Kushner has been running his family’s real-estate business, Kushner Companies. According to the Times, "the Kushners have acquired $7 billion worth of commercial and residential property over the last decade."

In recent years, starting in 2013, Kushner has bought 40-plus buildings in the East Village. According to the Cooper Square Committee, only Steve Croman owns more residential buildings in the East Village than Kushner does.

And as we've noted in multiple posts, there hasn't been any shortage of tenant horror stories since Kushner and his management company, Westminster City Living, became the landlord. For instance, back in March, tenants at 118 E. Fourth St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue went to Manhattan Housing Court as part of ongoing litigation against Kushner. Tenants there had been without gas for cooking since October 2015. There were other issues too, such as collapsed ceilings, overflowing trash and sporadic heat. (Kushner eventually settled with the tenants.)

Brandon Kielbasa at the Cooper Square Committee told Gothamist in March that Kushner "treats both rent-stabilized and market-rate tenants badly, and seems to feel that he can get away with not maintaining buildings because the housing market is so tight he can keep them full anyway."

In July 2014, DNAinfo reported that "Kushner is using lawsuits, disruptive construction and neglect to force rent-stabilized tenants out of two buildings [170-174 E. Second St.] he owns in the East Village, as he converts them to high-end apartments, according to court documents and residents."

Meanwhile, around that same time, the Daily News filed a story with the headline "Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner forcing residents out of East Village building so he can get higher rents: tenants."

Yesterday, DNAinfo filed a lengthy piece on a lawsuit that a resident at 331 E. Ninth St. filed against Kushner. Uta Winkler, a rent-stabilized tenant, said in court papers that her kitchen was destroyed several days before Thanksgiving in 2013 by construction workers renovating an unoccupied unit above her apartment.

And then...

Two weeks later, Winkler had to endure more mayhem when she came home to find that a construction worker carrying dirty water and debris on the floor above hers had crashed through her bedroom ceiling, landing on her bed, court document said.

The fall destroyed her bed and other furniture, but Westminster refused to reimburse her for the damage or even return her calls, court papers said.

Without a response, Winkler withheld her monthly rent, which reportedly prompted the Kushner Companies to sue her for the unpaid rent in 2015 in Manhattan Housing Court. DNAinfo reported that the company also sued tenants in two other units, include new market-rate residents, in the building for also withholding rent because of the disruptions from construction. (Those two other tenants then each filed counter-suits against Kushner.)

As a way to improve its image, Westminster introduced a new program this fall called Westminster Cares (not to be confused with this Westminster Cares), a partnership with the Educational Alliance...



The kick-off party was Nov. 17 at the 14th Street Y. Per the fliers, "This new program gives you an opportunity to serve your community while getting to know your fellow Westminster neighbors." The slogan: "Mingle. Give Back. Repeat."

The event prompted the Cooper Square Committee to release a statement asking, "Westminster Cares – About Who?!"

Said Kielbasa: "Every week we have Kushner tenants calling our office to get issues resolved. The problems they face range from not getting security deposits back, not getting lease renewals, having chronic mixups with their rent payments, and having difficulties getting repairs. If Westminster really cares, they need to get better at managing their properties."

For their part, Westminster provided DNAinfo with a statement for yesterday's article about their ongoing work in maintaining their portfolio:

"As with all our properties, we are committed to providing a high level of service for our tenants across that portfolio, which is nearly fully leased. We couldn't maintain that level of occupancy or service without investing in essential building infrastructure, so we consistently make meaningful upgrades in our walkup buildings across the city on behalf of our residents."

In a Page 1 story on Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal cited Kushner's business activities that could potentially raise conflict-of-interest issues if he is named to a staff position in the Trump administration. (Possible solutions include Kushner selling his assets and putting the money into a trust.)

As the Trump told the Times last week, "Jared’s a very smart guy. He’s a very good guy. The people that know him, he’s a quality person and I think he can be very helpful." (The Times contacted dozens of politicians, diplomats and journalists in Israel and the Palestinian territories. Very few of them were familiar with Kushner.)



Upon reading the news of the possibility of Kushner brokering peace, one resident wrote on Facebook last week: "The Middle East is gonna have to wait until he fixes my sink. Might be forever."

Previously on EV Grieve:
[Updated] Report: Jared Kushner buys $130 million portfolio of East Village rental buildings

Report: Jared Kushner paid $49 million for 7 more Ben Shaoul-owned properties in the East Village

More about Jared Kushner's East Village buying spree

Soon, we will all be writing our rent checks to Jared Kushner

Tenants claim: Kushner and Westminster want to destroy this building's beautiful garden

Reports outline how Kushner Companies is aggressively trying to empty 170-174 E. 2nd St.

Local politicos join residents of 2 Jared Kushner-owned buildings to speak out about poor living conditions, alleged harassment

Jared Kushner's residents at 118 E. 4th St. would like gas for cooking and some heat

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Noted



Several readers have noted this new coming soon signage for #notourpresident on an empty storefront (No. 64) on Second Avenue between Fourth Street and Third Street.

The space previously housed NYC Velo, who moved next door in March.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

At the start of the March Against Trump in Union Square today



Another day, another Donald Trump protest. Several thousand people gathered in Union Square earlier today for a "Trump is NOT my president" march from Union Square to the Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue. (The Facebook invite listed 16,000 people as attending.)

Per amNewYork:

David Bruce, of Manhattan, said demonstrating was less about challenging Trump than showing support to women, the LGBT community and people of color.

“It’s about love, it’s not about trashing Donald Trump,” Bruce, a 35-year-old film critic, said. “Donald Trump is preaching pure evil, he is preaching hate."

Organizers of the demonstration called it a peaceful protest. "Divided is the reason we just fell. We must unite despite our differences to stop HATE from ruling the land," the Facebook event said.

EVG correspondent Steven shared these photos...





















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And via Derek Berg...