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Kushner Companies finally makes a deal to offload its troubled Midtown tower

August 6, 2018

 

After months of speculation, Kushner Companies and Brookfield Properties have made it official: Brookfield announced last week that the two companies reached a deal over 666 Fifth Avenue, the beleaguered building that was once seen as the crown jewel of the Kushner clan’s real estate holdings. 

 

The deal, which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, gives Brookfield a 99-year lease for the building; it will both operate and plan “a major redevelopment program to upgrade it,” according to a press release. It remains to be seen what the redevelopment will look like, though likely less ambitious than Kushner’s previous (and ultimately scrapped) plan to replace the whole thing with a Zaha Hadid-designed supertall. 

 

Though the terms of the del were not clear, the WSJ notes that deal is “larger-than-expected”; according to “[p]eople who have been involved in the talks,” it would generate enough cash to allow Kushner to pay off the more than $1 billion it owes for the building.

 

In about a decade, the Kushner clan’s initial deal for 666 Fifth Avenue went from being the most expensive office building ever purchased to an extraordinarily expensive boondoggle. Jared Kushner, who stepped down as CEO of Kushner Companies in early 2017, negotiated the $1.8 billion deal; in the years since, various plans and deals for the aging office building have been pitched and fallen through.

 

Most recently, Kushner was in talks with Vornado Realty Trust to buy out the latter firm’s 49.5 percent stake in the tower for $120 million. Per the WSJ, the Brookfield deal may give the firm the leverage to do just that.

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