Jared Kushner-Linked Company Will Invest in Wealthier Areas Under Program for Developing Poor Neighborhoods

A real estate company co-founded by President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, plans on using tax breaks signed by the president meant for developing poor areas on areas that don’t need significant investment, the Associated Press reported. The New York-based firm, Cadre, recently told potential investors that it’s not seeking investment opportunities in most areas that might qualify for so-called “Opportunity Zone” tax breaks, claiming they have “unfavorable growth prospects.” Cadre plans, however, to pursue opportunities in a “small subset” of areas in zones that qualify for tax breaks that are either attracting extensive investment or experiencing marked gentrification, according to the AP. Some questionable “Opportunity Zone” areas identified by the AP include a particularly tony area of Manhattan, New York’s Upper East Side neighborhood, where a three-bedroom apartment with views of Central Park might hit the market for $4 million. Another zone is the Ledroit Park neighborhood of Washington, D.C., which real estate website Curbed dubbed the city’s “most gentrified” ZIP code. Zones in close proximity to the Stanford University campus and Amazon’s planned corporate hub in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, New York, the AP noted.  The seemingly high income levels of some Opportunity Zones are a driving force of criticism surrounding the tax break, which was green-lighted in December 2017 under the Republican-sponsored tax plan. States are responsible for designating Opportunity Zones. The program, which was boosted by Trump, claims there is a mean 32 percent poverty rate in Opportunity Zones. But developing in “contiguous” areas, which might not have high poverty rates, also allows for tax breaks, the AP explained. Kushner and his wife, First Daughter Ivanka Trump, both advocated for the Opportunity Zone program. They are both expected to benefit from the program financially. Kushner holds a $25 million “passive stake” in Cadre, per the AP.