Kushner Companies

Midtown, Policy

666 Fifth Avenue, Kushner Companies, Jared Kushner

A previous rendering of 666 Fifth Avenue, courtesy of Kushner Companies/Zaha Hadid Architects

Instead of the 41-story Midtown tower becoming an 80-story office building with hotel rooms and luxury housing, 666 Fifth Avenue will now get a much more simple upgrade. According to Bloomberg, Vornado Realty Trust, the project’s partner alongside Kushner Companies, told brokers the property will remain an office building, with“mundane” renovations planned. As one of the most financially troubled developments for Kushner Cos., the Fifth Ave project has been losing money since its purchase was first coordinated by Jared Kushner, currently a senior advisor to President Donald Trump, in 2007.

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Major Developments, New Jersey

one journal square, kushner companies, jersey city

Old rendering of One Journal Square via KABR Group

The contentious residential and office tower planned for One Journal Square in Jersey City is getting a second life today when Kushner Companies and KABR Group present revised plans for the project to the city’s Planning Board. Earlier this year, according to NJ.com, the developers failed to get a package of city subsidies, a major investor and future tenant left the deal and a state tax break never came. The updated plan seeking approval includes two 849 foot tall, 56-story towers with 1,512 residential units plus retail and office space. Older plans called for a 56- and 79-story tower with a total of 1,725 units.

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Major Developments, Midtown East, Policy, real estate trends

666 Fifth Avenue, Kushner Companies, Jared Kushner

A rendering of 666 Fifth Avenue, courtesy of Kushner Companies/Zaha Hadid Architects

In 2007, Kushner Companies purchased a 41-story tower in Midtown for $1.8 billion, which was the most expensive real estate deal ever in the U.S. at the time. The transaction of 666 Fifth Avenue, coordinated by Jared Kushner, now a senior advisor to President Donald Trump, was ill-timed, making the purchase just before the economic recession. As the Washington Post reported, the Fifth Avenue project is one of the most financially troubled for Kushner Cos., with one-fourth of office space empty, and its lease revenue not covering monthly interest payments. While Kushner has divested his stake in the property to avoid conflicts of interest, the property’s value has dropped and foreign entities have withdrawn financial support. Currently, Kushner’s dealings are under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, as part of the broader investigation into Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.

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Brooklyn Heights, New Developments

Watchtower, Jehovah's Witnesses, 25-30 Columbia Heights

For nearly 50 years, the neon red 15-foot-tall ‘Watchtower’ sign has sat atop the former headquarters of the Jehovah’s Witnesses luminously overlooking Brooklyn Heights. However, earlier this month, the religious group filed a permit application seeking to remove the sign. According to The Real Deal, this comes almost a year after developers Kushner Companies, CIM Group and LIVWRK Holdings purchased the spot at 25-30 Columbia Heights for $340 million with plans to convert the building into a 635,000-square-foot office complex, “Panorama.”

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Architecture, Brooklyn Heights, New Developments

Panorama, Watchtower, Volley Studio

Last summer, developers CIM Group, Kushner Companies and LIVWRK acquired the Jehovah’s Witnesses Watchtower building at 25-30 Columbia Heights in Brooklyn Heights for $340 million. The building, known for its iconic red sign, served as the world headquarters of the religious group for years, but they’re relocating to Warwick, New York. Now, work has begun to turn its three 19th century brick and timber buildings into 635,000 square feet of office space, as well as 35,000 square feet of retail and outdoor areas, as Fast Company reports. The new space will be known as Panorama, for its stunning views of the Manhattan skyline and Brooklyn Bridge.

See renderings of the Panorama complex

Policy

With a federal budget proposal that strips significant funding to the Environmental Protection Agency, it’s not so shocking that President Trump and his son-in-law and close adviser, Jared Kushner, both own buildings that rank as the least energy-efficient in New York City. The Daily News shared a new report from ALIGN, a coalition of labor and environmental activists, which found that Trump Tower uses more energy than 93 percent of the city’s large residential buildings. Worse, the Trump Organization’s Mayfair condo uses more than 98 percent. The report also revealed that a Kushner Companies’ 666 Fifth Avenue (controversial for even more reasons as of late) uses more energy than 85 percent of large office buildings.

See the report here

Midtown East

666 Fifth Avenue, Kushner Companies, Jared Kushner

A rendering of 666 Fifth Avenue. Credit: Kushner Companies/Zaha Hadid Architects

“Kushner Companies is no longer in discussions with Anbang about 666 Fifth Ave.’s potential redevelopment, and our firms have mutually agreed to end talks regarding the property,” a spokesman for the developer told the Post. The timing of the Chinese insurance company backing out of the deal–which the Kushners hoped could increase the Midtown’s skyscraper’s value to a whopping $12 billion and include a flashy new Zaha Hadid design–is uncannily timed with investigations into Jared Kushner’s supposed meetings with a scandalous Russian bank. But despite the controversy surrounding ex-CEO and current White House advisor Jared, Kushner Cos. “remains in active, advanced negotiations around 666 Fifth Ave. with a number of potential investors.”

The full story ahead

Midtown East, Starchitecture

666 Fifth Avenue, Kushner Companies, Jared Kushner

A rendering of 666 Fifth Avenue. Credit: Kushner Companies/Zaha Hadid Architects

As 6sqft previously reported, 666 Fifth Avenue owners Kushner Companies and Vornado Realty Trust have been seeking financing for a new skyscraper planned for the site of the Midtown office tower that Kushner purchased for $1.8 billion in 2007; Chinese company Anbang Insurance Group is said to have been considering a substantial stake in the tower. Though it was reported that the redevelopment could be valued at $7.5 billion, the Wall Street Journal now cites sources who say the value could be as much as $12 billion, and that a reported deal with Anbang may be far from a sure thing. That huge number represents the projected value of what Kushner envisions as a 1,400-foot-tall mixed-use luxury tower with a design provided by the late Zaha Hadid in 2015, nine floors of retail, a hotel and big-ticket luxury condos on its upper floors.

Find out more about the possibly maybe very big deal

Midtown East

666 Fifth Avenue, via Vornado

Anbang Insurance Group, the Chinese company who bought the Waldorf Astoria in late 2014 for nearly $2 billion, is now making headlines for another high-profile real estate transaction, this time against a controversial political backdrop. Bloomberg reports that Anbang is considering a stake in Vornado and Kushner Companies’ office tower 666 Fifth Avenue, a deal that Jared Kushner reportedly set into motion before resigning as CEO of his family’s company to serve as a presidential advisor to his father-in-law. If the deal goes through, not only will the Kushners profit some $400 million, but they’ll receive an equity stake in the new partnership, which will refinance $1.5 billion in existing mortgage debt. The deal values the tower at $2.85 billion, and if Anbang’s receives its proposed $4 billion construction loan to turn the top floors into condos, it will be the largest such loan for a single property in NYC history.

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DUMBO, New Developments

Conceptual massing of 85 Jay Street based on approved zoning, via CityRealty

Despite the fact that Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner stepped down as CEO of Kushner Companies in order to transition from developer to full-time presidential advisor, his family’s firm is moving ahead with their big plans at a three-acre parking lot in DUMBO. Just over a month ago, the joint partnership among Kushner, LIVWRK, and CIM Group paid $345 million to the Jehovah’s Witnesses for the site at 85 Jay Street, which brought Kushner’s total investment in the area to more than $1 billion. CityRealty recently visited the site and found that they’ve ceased parking operations and moved construction equipment onsite.

All the details ahead

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