Two tenants at Kushner’s Times Square property are showing signs of stress: report

Firm is having problems with Gulliver’s Gate and National Geographic Encounter

Nov.November 15, 2018 11:00 AM

Charles Kushner and 229 West 43rd Street (Credit: Luxury Attache)

Two tourist attractions at Kushner Companies’ Times Square retail property are showing some signs of trouble, posing a potential threat to the company’s mortgage.

At least six contractors have sued the owner of Gulliver’s Gate, which shows a miniature model of the city, over alleged nonpayment of fees, according to Bloomberg. Meanwhile, the operator of National Geographic Encounter has been in a rent dispute with Kushner since August. The attractions made up almost half of the expected rent-roll at 229 West 43rd Street in a 2016 estimate that helped to justify $370 million worth of loans.

Gulliver’s Gate has already settled at least two of the lawsuits, and a spokeswoman for National Geographic Encounter told Bloomberg in an email that they were engaged in “a simple garden variety landlord-tenant dispute” that they expect to resolve.

Kushner has pulled away from New York recently, namely by selling their property at 666 Fifth Avenue to Brookfield Property Partners. Any issues at the Times Square building would be relatively smaller and should not pose a dire threat to the company.

A spokesperson for Kushner did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The firm bought the six-story Times Square building in 2015 for $296 million, when it was mostly vacant. They were working on opening a food hall with celebrity chef Todd English and Outstanding Hospitality Management. But after getting into a legal dispute with OHM earlier this year, the company no longer plans to move in.

Kushner did find a replacement for Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen with The Ribbon, a restaurant on the Upper West Side that will open a branch in Times Square.

The Real Deal sat down with Charlie Kushner for a lengthy interview earlier this year, where he discussed issues ranging from federal investigations to allegations of tenant harassment to his son’s role at the White House. [Bloomberg] – Eddie Small

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