The Real Deal New York

My bad: Charles Kushner takes blame for 666 Fifth Avenue buy

Tower recently posted worst year since 2011
April 24, 2018 10:50AM

Charles Kushner and 666 Fifth Avenue

Charles Kushner wants you to know that 666 Fifth Avenue was his idea.

The elder Kushner told CNN that his son, Jared Kushner, expressed reservations about buying the $1.8 billion office tower back in 2007. Charles called the decision the product of “bad timing and bad judgement.”

“I pushed Jared to do the deal,” he said.

But in a 2007 interview with The Real Deal, Jared Kushner said he didn’t hesitate to jump on the opportunity to buy the tower.

“In New York, you have to act quickly, or else you get left in the dust,” he said. “We were just blown away by it, and we really wanted to buy it.”

Last week, Vornado Realty Trust — which co-owns the tower — announced that the building posted its worst year since 2011. The tower lost $25 million in 2017, largely because the debt service on the property outweighs its net income. Vornado has said it reached a “handshake” deal to sell its 49.5 percent stake in the tower to Kushner Companies, but details on the sale haven’t been released.

Charles told CNN that an announcement about the tower’s ownership should be made soon.

Jared stepped down as the company’s CEO in January 2017 to join the White House. The Real Deal last year took a look at Charles’ role at his family company following his 14-month stint in federal prison on charges of tax evasion and witness tampering. [CNN] — Kathryn Brenzel