The Kushner family’s company stands to receive more than $400 million from Anbang, a Chinese company that is investing in the Kushner’s office tower at 666 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. As reported by Bloomberg News, the proposed $4 billion transaction contains terms that some real estate experts have described as unusually favorable towards the family of President Trump’s son-in-law. It provides the Kushner family with the impressive cash payout from Anbang Insurance Group, as well as forgiveness for a portion of a $250 million loan which will allow the debt to be cleared for one-fifth of its value.
It will allow the family to buy back the building’s more lucrative retail spaces and maintain a 20 percent stake for the property, which has been struggling financially. The deal places a valuation of $2.85 billion on the 41-story tower, setting a new record for a single NYC building. The office section is set at $1.6 billion, and $1.25 billion for the retail section. The new partnership will refinance $1.15 billion in existing mortgage debt. The plan is to convert the property’s higher floors into luxury residential units. Also the Kushners will themselves invest $750 million enhancing the retail portion of the building.
Anbang will be paying a high price for both sections of the project at 666 Fifth Avenue, but snatches a prime location and its first real estate investment in America for the year. It is unclear whether the deal could prompt federal review, as occurred when the prominent Chinese conglomerate purchased the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan. Anbang may also face review by the Chinese government, which has become stringent in overseas investments.
The planned partnership is searching for additional investors through a federal program known as EB-5, which offers residency permits to major foreign investors. While news of the planned deal is being circulated in order to attract additional equity partners, the details have not been disclosed.
As senior advisor to the President, Jared Kushner may now find himself with a conflict of interest in a range of issues such as his dealings with China, trade issues, future EB-5 restrictions etc. A Kushner company spokesman, James Yolles, said that Jared sold his ownership stake in 666 Fifth Ave to family members so that the transaction poses no conflict of interest with his roles in the White House. “Kushner Companies has taken significant steps to avoid potential conflicts and will continue to do so," Yolles said in a written statement. A White House spokeswoman also said that Mr. Kushner will excuse himself from any issues where his impartiality may be reasonably questioned.
By: Ilana Siyance