Vornado will soon be replaced by Brookfield as a partner in Kushner Cos.’ 666 Fifth Avenue. Without the involvement of the Qatari Investment Authority, Brookfield will take the lead on the redeveloping of the office tower in Midtown Manhattan.
The 49.5 percent stake in the 40-story tower’s office portion will be bought by the Charlie Kushner and Laurent Morali headed Kushner Cos. for $120 million from Vornado Realty Trust.
One of the separate retail condominiums in the building’s base will remain under Vornado’s ownership.
In response to a New York Times article, The Post was told by a source familiar with the matter, “There is no truth or validity to Qatar having an investment in the building.”
According to The Post, “Qatar does own preferred equity shares in Brookfield’s Manhattan West and Canary Wharf in London, but is not investing in Kushner’s office building, the source insisted. An investment by a foreign government in the family’s signature tower could prove difficult for Jared Kushner, who resigned his position in the co’mpany to work for his father-in-law, President Trump. It is still unclear what paperwork and funds, if any, have been exchanged between Brookfield, Kushner and Vornado but a formal announcement could be forthcoming as Brookfield operates five public companies.”
The sale amount has already been revealed by Vornado in its regulatory filings.
Now that a plan for a partner and redevelopment have been solidified and rents are expected to increase in the future, the building is expected to be refinanced. The redevelopment’s precise details are still being worked out, but it is expected that a glass curtain wall will be replacing the building’s white aluminum façade.
On another past project at 450 W. 33rd Street, small glass windows were removed by Brookfield and a theatrical wall of staircase-like angled glass was installed on one side of the building.
Regarding the still undefined remodel at 666 Fifth Ave, the source told The Post, “It is going to be very dramatic and will make it comparable to any new office building.”
The Canada-headquartered Brookfield, with its extensive experience with construction of this type of redevelopment, “will be leading the charge, but it will be done collaboratively.”
The outdated 1950s-style building will supposedly be brought into the future with an investment of “several hundred millions,” instead of the previously explored $7.5 billion total redo.
The Post reports, “Along with technological upgrades, a new lobby, elevators and other tweaks, such as removing dropped ceilings and incorporating current setbacks into usable outdoor terraces, will make its 40 stories more desired by today’s office tenants. Its few current office tenants will not be moved out of the building but may need to be temporarily relocated within or away from the outer walls while the construction takes place. A Brookfield spokesperson confirmed that no Qatar-linked entity has any involvement in or even knowledge of this potential transaction.”
By Mark Snyder