President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has made a booming business out of turning huge real estate investments into profits just like his father-in-law. Before he became Trump’s senior adviser, he made his career as an American investor, real estate developer, and newspaper publisher. Now, it seems that Kushner’s business interests might be coming to a standstill as his latest venture seems to be a wash.
Kushner had planned to turn the large and infamously named 666 5th Avenue building into a skyscraper twice as tall as how it currently stands. However, The Washington Post reported now that about 25 percent of the offices in the building have now been vacated, and he can pay his thanks to his father-in-law for that.
It seems that Kushner had multiple foreign investors on board with the project but they have pulled out due to fears of conflicts of interest. His intentions for a large and monumental skyscraper are now just an empty money pit full of good intentions, and nothing more than accumulating debt at this point.
According to The Post:
‘With one-fourth of [the building’s] offices empty, lease revenue does not cover monthly interest payments, according to lending documents. A $1.2 billion mortgage, with escalating interest rates, comes due in 18 months. A ratings agency has classified a $115 million portion of the loan as ‘troubled,’ and company officials decline to say whether it will be fully repaid.’
In 2007, Kushner and his father, Charles, bought the 666 building for $1.8 billion dollars the year before the stock market crashed. At that point in time, it was the highest price paid for an office building and Kushner most likely overpaid. Currently, it is about 70 percent full and high-profile tenants such as Citibank and the Phillips Nizer law firm are abandoning the building.
Apparently, this is not the only troubling Kushner project either. The Post also reported:
‘The Manhattan skyscraper is not the only Kushner project to draw attention since the election. The company has acknowledged that federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York have subpoenaed documents about use of the EB-5 visa program at One Journal Square, a planned Jersey City development. Meyer touted her brother’s White House position in courting Chinese investors under the program, which offers temporary visas in exchange for $500,000 investments.’
Kushner also has bigger fish to fry in relation to special counsel Mueller’s Russia investigation. He appeared before the Senate committees to provide an explanation for his meetings with foreign officials that he had left off his security clearance questionnaire. Mueller is examining Kushner’s dealings in relation to Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.
Revenue has been declining for the building and back when Kushner Cos. took over the property in 2007 the net operating income was $61 million. That revenue decreased to $41 million in 2016 due to the sale of the retail portion and the continually decreasing office occupancy.
When the plan for turning Kushner’s 666 5th Avenue into an 80-story office building became known last year, it garnered much skepticism. One publication, The Real Deal, called it a “tower of hubris” for the Kushners.
Let’s not forget that last year in 2016, Kushner was simultaneously helping to run Trump’s presidential campaign and continued to be the president of a company that was seeking billions of dollars from foreign entities. That says enough.
Featured image by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.