One day after a press conference was held outside 666 Fifth Avenue accusing his family’s real estate company of illegally operating eight buildings, Charlie Kushner penned an op-ed defending his family and his business.
In a letter to the Washington Post, Kushner defends the companies investment in 666 Fifth Avenue — the over-leveraged tower where Brookfield Asset Management swooped in and purchased a 99-year lease for the office portion of the building. Brookfield paid $1.3 billion.
“First, 666 Fifth Ave. was not a big financial loser. Even before we recouped most of the initial investment, the property represented a small portion of the company’s overall holdings; the Kushner Companies’ health was fine,” he wrote. “Second, trophy assets in New York often appeal to foreign investors — that’s a legal and appropriate stream of funding.”
He also notes that his son Jared Kushner’s role in the White House has led to “unprecedented scrutiny of the Kushner Companies from the media and government investigators.” He said the company has passed up “many business opportunities” to “avoid even the appearance of conflicts.” Last year, the New York Times reported that Kushner Companies received more than $500 million in loans in 2017 from lenders who had recently met with Jared Kushner at the White House.
This isn’t the first time that Kushner has sounded off about his family business. In an exclusive interview with The Real Deal last year, he spoke at length about how his son has separated himself from Kushner Companies.
“We’ve created a very concrete barrier wall between us and Jared in Washington, which is what was required ethically, and we’ve done that successfully,” he said. [WP] — TRD