July 27, 2019


Jared Kushner: Top White House Adviser and NYC Rat Lord (STEVEN WISHNIA, APRIL 12, 2017,  THE VILLAGE VOICE)

While Jared Kushner was visiting Iraq with a bulletproof vest over his blazer and failing to find $7 billion to finance his phallic eighty-story glass tower on Fifth Avenue, tenants in two of his Lower Manhattan buildings were dealing with a more prosaic problem.

Rats. Big ones.

"One of the neighbors opened the door to take out the garbage and a rat jumped on her leg," says a rent-stabilized tenant at 156 Sullivan Street in the South Village who doesn't want to give his name because he's "nervous that the landlord might do something."

"I can see there's rats running around all over the place," he told the Voice, referring to the enclosed alley next to the building where the garbage cans are kept. "A lot of times, you can see the bags move because the rats are in there eating."

Kushner, Donald Trump's son-in-law, is arguably the president's top adviser. With no previous experience in government, he now holds roles stretching from Middle East diplomacy to overseeing a commission on opioid addiction, from discussing who knows what with Russian oligarchs to promoting the administration's Wall Street wing over the white-nationalist visions of Stephen Bannon. The son of a politically connected New Jersey developer, he has bought his way to being a leading New York City residential landlord over the last five years: He's spent more than $400 million amassing more than fifty buildings, most of them in the East Village. Kushner claims to have divested some of his real estate holdings since joining the Trump administration but has been very vague about how or which ones. A spokesperson for Kushner's Westminster Management declined to comment on the ownership and divestment issues.

Kushner acquired the 156 Sullivan Street building in 2012. There were problems with rodents before then, the tenant says, but "the rats have gotten a lot worse since they bought the building."

Posted by at July 27, 2019 3:15 PM