High-powered hedge fund Millennium Management wants to move out of Kushner Company’s 666 Fifth Ave. in what’s the latest possible blow to the cash-hemorrhaging tower, The New York Post reports.
Millennium, headed by Israel “Izzy” Englander, could vacate a 170,000 square feet at the 1.3-million-square-foot tower which is already 30 percent vacant, sources told The New York Post.
Although one insider said Millennium was merely “weighing its options,” brokerage sources confirmed that the firm is in advanced talks to move to Boston Properties’ 399 Park Ave. It wasn’t apparent how Millennium would get out of its lease at 666 Fifth, which was recently renewed.
The fund has also had talks with other Midtown landlords, sources said.
The troubled 666 Fifth faces a $1.2 billion mortgage coming due in February and reportedly lost $24 million this year.
In the ongoing saga of trying to find a buyer for 666 Fifth drama, Kushner Cos., which is now run by company founder Charles Kushner and President Laurent Morali, is in talks to buy out its minority partner Vornado’s 49.5 percent stake in the building, The New York Post reports.
Simultaneously, Brookfield Asset Management is in talks to replace Vornado’s stake at 666 Fifth once Kushner buys out Vornado.
Brookfield would then redesign the obsolescent tower for updated uses as well as take control of management and leasing.
Losing Millennium would be “a bad pill for Kushner,” one source said. “It will mean further reduced cash flow and also strengthen Brookfield’s hand in the talks with Kushner.”
Millennium does like the space at 666 Fifth, but Millennium fears that “nobody knows what the hell is going to happen there, and they want out of Dodge,” a different source said.
Reps for Kushner and for Millennium declined to comment.
The Jewish Voice previously reported that 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 New York 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 New York 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 company 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.”
By: Diana Hourigan
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