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Kushner Companies may retool its ambitious redesign of 666 Fifth Avenue

The trophy tower has become a major issue for the firm

Courtesy of PropertyShark

The long, drawn-out saga of Kushner Companies’ 666 Fifth Avenue continues: The New York Post reports that Jared Kushner's ambitious proposal to overhaul his company's trophy office tower is looking less and less likely to actually happen.

Kushner had hoped Zaha Hadid would oversee a $7.5 billion proposal to redevelop the hulking Midtown skyscraper into a skinny supertall, and bring in retail, hotel and luxury condo space. Kushner has been under increased pressure as the property has taken on massive debts, which are due in the now not-so-distant future.

But as the Post points out, Hadid has since passed away, the luxury condo market is softening, and Kushner himself is immersed in his role as a senior adviser to his father-in-law, President Donald Trump. That's left Kushner's new CEO, Laurent Morali, and Jared’s dad, Charles Kushner, to deal with the 666 Fifth Avenue chaos here in New York.

The now-defunct proposal
Zaha Hadid Architects/Kushner Companies

The final nail in the coffin, according to the Post, is that "a just-distributed 2018 Kushner Companies 'look book' also no longer mentions the Hadid tower that was to use the address 660 Fifth." Instead, the look book highlights the current tower, “noted for its signature aluminum facade, prominent crown signage, and its lobby designed by Isamu Noguchi."

The demise of Kushner's ambitious proposal is likely in no small part to Vornado Realty Trust, which has a 49.5 percent stake in the building. The firm, led by Steve Roth, wants the building to remain offices, saying it was “unlikely to invest further in the property without first being reassured of its future.”

Recent permits with the Department of Buildings only show minor facade work planned for the tower, like replacing the windows (at a cost of $17.8 million) and rising parapet walls, potentially to build more outdoor space.

Kushner Companies is now left with refinancing its $1.215 billion loan this upcoming February. The Post says that in September, the law firm tenant Akerman LLP signed a fourth amendment to its lease and updated its non-disturbance agreement with the lender—a document typically signed by larger tenants so they are not tossed if a building is foreclosed.