Kushner Companies and Anbang may revive stalled tower at 666 Fifth Avenue
00:31, Mar 16, 2017
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The New York Times had reported in January that Anbang Chairman Wu Xiaohui and Jared Kushner were nearing agreement on a joint venture to redevelop the building. Anbang's murky ownership structure has come under scrutiny before and resulted in it losing its $1.57 billion bid to take over a USA insurance company last summer.
The deal would value the 41-story tower at $2.85 billion, the most ever for a single Manhattan building: $1.6 billion for the office section and $1.25 billion for the retail section. Kroll called some $1.1 billion in debt on the building a "loan of concern".
The partnership between the Kushner family company and Anbang is also looking for additional investors through the EB-5 visa program, which provides two-year visas and a track to permanent residency in the United States for foreign nationals who invest at least $500,000. It would make business partners of Kushner Cos. and Anbang, whose murky links to the Chinese power structure have raised national security concerns over its US investments.
"The information about Anbang's investment in 666 Fifth Avenue is not correct, there is no investment from Anbang for this deal", a spokesperson with the firm said in a statement on Wednesday.
It's unclear whether the deal could initiate a federal review, similar to when Anbang bought the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan.
Technology firm 1WorldSync has reached a deal to lease 22,247 square feet at 300 S. Riverside Plaza in Chicago, according to a report on Monday from. Kushner himself has sold his own ownership stake in the tower to family members, in a weak effort to divest himself from potential conflicts of interest, which appears to run in the family.
Asked for comment, a White House spokeswoman said Kushner will recuse himself from any matter where his impartiality could be reasonably questioned, including an examination of the EB-5 program.
In 2015, it was reported that Jared Kushner, who was still a part of Kushner Companies at the time (he stepped down earlier this year), was in talks with Steve Roth, the head of Vornado, to restructure the building into a 1,400-foot condo and hotel with a large retail component.
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