It’s Real Estate 101 that many owners and developers don’t fully own, or even majority own, their properties or projects and often just serve as the public face of an asset that could have several behind-the-scenes investors.
That’s certainly the case with Kushner Companies, as a new investigation from Bloomberg reveals just how much the family firm depends on its equity partners. The company, previously run by White House adviser Jared Kushner, has a stake in more than 60 New York City buildings, according to the report. But in 60 percent of the properties, the Kushners own less than a 50-percent stake. In nearly half the buildings, they own less than a 20-percent stake.
In 2015 for example, when Kushner Companies closed on a 16-building East Village-centric multifamily portfolio, most of the equity for that deal came from Andrew Farkas’ C-III Capital Partners, which is also an investor in the Kushners’ online real estate investment platform, Cadre. At 80-90 Maiden Lane in Manhattan, Kushner Companies quietly sold half its stake to Meadow Partners earlier this year.
The Real Deal reported in March that Normandy Real Estate Partners was taking a majority stake in Kushner Companies’ 175 Pearl Street. In August, TRD reported that Normandy had increased its stake in 80-90 Maiden Lane, leaving the Kushner name off of updated property records.
There are buildings that the Kushner Companies appears to own 100 percent of, however. Those, according to Bloomberg, include the Puck Building, a Times Square retail condo at 229 West 43rd Street and some of the company’s residential rental portfolio in the East Village and in Brooklyn.
The company owns about half of the troubled 666 Fifth Avenue, having partnered with food importing mogul George Gellert to acquire it for $1.8 billion in 2007 and later selling a position to Vornado Realty Trust. Kushner CEO Laurent Morali declined to comment to the publication, but on Tuesday afternoon a company spokesperson provided The Real Deal with the following sentence: “Kushner Companies has a proven track record that continually attracts institutional investors who want to align with us in our investments.” [Bloomberg] — Will Parker