Charles Kushner, Jared Kushner’s father, said that he pushed Jared to make what by many accounts was a disastrous purchase of 666 Fifth Avenue, a massive property for which the Kushner family business owes a massive, billion-dollar mortgage, Politico reported.
“I pushed Jared to do the deal,” the elder Kushner told CNN in an interview published this week. He said that Jared had been reluctant to buy the building, and that the purchase was the result of “bad timing and bad judgment.”
Jared Kushner paid $1.8 billion for the skyscraper in 2007 — just ahead of the burst of the housing market and the Great Recession. At the time, it was the most expensive real estate deal in New York City history. Since then, however, the company has struggled to find financing partners for the mortgage, which comes due at the end of this year. Deals with private financiers and the sovereign wealth funds of different countries, most notably Qatar, have fallen through.
The Kushners had hoped to redevelop the building, filled predominantly with low ceilinged office space, into glamorous, multi-million dollar condos. But the building’s current financing partner, Vornado Realty Trust, have made their disinterest in such redevelopment clear, and have tried to find a buyer for the building.
Though Jared Kusher has divested from his family’s company, but has been reported as using his White House adviser position to possibly negotiate loans for the company. Charles Kushner also told CNN that the fate of the company also has an effect on his son’s image.
“The question in our company today is not ‘what’s the best deal?’” he said. “We shy away from anything that could have a negative impact on Jared.”