Etsy HQ In Brooklyn Is Main Tenant In Kushner-Owned Brooklyn Building
It started with an anonymous DM tip to the Hill Reporter Twitter account: an independent contractor familiar with the situation sent us a tip that the headquarters for online crafting powerhouse Etsy in Brooklyn, New York, is housed in a building owned by Jared Kushner‘s family. Called “Dumbo Heights” and co-owned with Aby Rosen’s RFR Holding LLC, the building is home to several tenants including WeWork, but Etsy is the property’s main tenant and the largest Kushner property. The firm’s partnership in the four Brooklyn office buildings barely covered their debt payments last year, and the global recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic is impacting their ability to pay back $300 million of loans issued in 2018 by South Korean insurers.
In August 2020, banks put Dumbo Heights on a list for potentially troubled debt, which triggered the lenders’ right to review new leases and major changes to leases, according to lender reports. Kushner divested some assets to family members when he joined the White House in 2017 to avoid possible conflicts of interest, although the exact nature of the transfers has never been made clear. WeWork, which sub-leases office space, has engaged more than 600 landlords in discussions as it seeks to reduce its rent by as much as 30%. In some cases, it is offering a share of revenue in exchange, as some of its tenants refuse to pay rent.
When Kushner, Rosen, and other investors bought the former Bible-printing plants on the Brooklyn waterfront from the Jehovah’s Witnesses for $375 million in 2013, the deal looked like a good bet. Brooklyn was booming, and the family’s partnership spent $162 million to convert the buildings into airy offices. Soon big names like Etsy Inc. and WeWork moved in. At one point in 2018, Charlie Kushner, Jared’s father (who was recently pardoned by Donald Trump in the days before he left office), turned down an offer of about $600 million for the buildings, believing they could fetch more than $1 billion, which has not come to fruition.
But in the wake of the investigation Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has opened against the Trump family, including taking possession of Donald Trump’s tax returns, the negativity may trickle down onto the tenants at Dumbo Heights, especially Etsy. Independent contractors using Etsy to sell their wares have no say in whom might own their workspace, but they certainly aren’t happy with the association and worry about the impact on their sales.
It’s time for Jared Kushner to go through some things.
— Mama_C2 🇺🇸 (@mama_c2) February 26, 2021
An email Hill Reporter has sent to Etsy CEO Josh Silverman inquiring about their relationship with Kushner had not been responded to by press time.
[This is a continuing story, please check back for updates]