Brookfield unveils $400M redevelopment of 666 Fifth Avenue

Posted On Thu, October 17, 2019 By

Posted On Thu, October 17, 2019 By In Design, Midtown

Left: Photo by David Shankbone on Wikimedia; Right: Rendering by Hayes Davidson for Brookfield Properties

Hoping to start a new chapter for the problem-plagued tower, Brookfield Asset Management has unveiled its plan to overhaul 666 Fifth Avenue. The 41-story Midtown office building will undergo a $400 million overhaul designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, including a new glass exterior, floor-to-ceiling windows, revamped rooftop spaces, and updated mechanical systems, as the Wall Street Journal first reported. And separating itself further from its past, the building’s address will now be 660 Fifth Avenue.

“It’s an iconic building in an absolutely prime location, but it’s outdated and requires a major transformation,” Sabrina Kanner, head of design and construction for Brookfield Properties, said.

Kicking off in the next year, work includes replacing the metal panel exterior with state-of-the-art insulated glass, trading small, low-light windows for large ones, and reconstructing the lobby to include a retail amenity. The project is expected to wrap up in 2023.

“When we’re done it will have the look and feel of a new building,” Kanner said.

Brookfield picked up a 99-year lease of the property last year from Kushner Companies, which bought the office building in 2008 for $1.8 billion. The company, run by the family of Jared Kushner, son-in-law and advisor of President Donald Trump, struggled with debt and high vacancy rates at the building.

Facing major debt, Kushner Cos. brought in Vornado Realty Trust, which purchased a stake in the building for $80 million and the assumption of half the property’s $1.2 billion mortgage in 2011. The company even floated an idea to bring a 1,400-foot-tall luxury hotel-condo tower designed by the late Zaha Hadid. Vornado rejected that plan, optioning for more “mundane” renovations instead.

Kushner Cos. bought the remaining stake in 666 Fifth Avenue from Vornado Realty Trust last summer. It then sold the ground lease to Brookfield in a deal valued at $1.29 billion. While Kushner Cos. owns the land underneath the building, the lease gives Brookfield control over leasing, operations, and development.

[Via WSJ]

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