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Brookfield nears deal to take over 666 Fifth Avenue from Kushner Companies

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The deal might however get complicated because of Jared Kushner’s role in the White House

Max Touhey

Kushner Companies’s ongoing troubles over its 666 Fifth Avenue flagship may finally be coming to an end. The New York Times has learned through real estate sources that Kushner Companies is close to signing a deal with Brookfield Properties that would allow the latter to take over the leasing and operation of the office tower.

The deal with Brookfield however may bring up the same sort of issues that hobbled a Zaha Hadid-designed $7.5 billion redevelopment of the site. That deal, which was with the Chinese insurance company, Anbang, fell through because legislators raised concerns about Jared Kushner’s ties to the White House and his family business (he stepped away from the family business after Donald Trump was elected president).

Qatar Investment Authority, which has ties to the Qatar government, is one of the major investors in Brookfield, and the Times posits that Kushner’s role in the White House as the Middle East liaison might complicate the Brookfield deal as well.

What the Times does know about the deal is as follows: Once Brookfield takes over the property, the developer plans to give the office building a major uplift by replacing the existing facade with floor-to-ceiling windows, installing new elevators, and revamping the lobby.

The deal will help the Kushner Companies pay off its massive debt on the property and also help the firm buy out its existing partner on the property, Vornado Realty Trust. The latter will however keep control of the lucrative Fifth Avenue retail portion of the building.