UPDATED, November 12, 4:37 p.m.: Kushner Companies is close to a deal to sell its lone Chicago office building for $188 million, a significant discount from what the firm paid for the property over a dozen years ago.
Kushner will sell the 853,000-square-foot building at 225 West Randolph Street to Onni Group, according to Crain’s. The Canadian firm would then spend about $154 million to renovate the property.
The deal is contingent on the City Council designating the building a landmark, and giving its owners an accompanying property tax break, according to the report, citing budget documents with the city Landmarks Commission.
Two years ago, Kushner agreed to sell the building to an Angelo Gordon-led venture, which has since transferred its purchase agreement to Onni, according to Crain’s, citing sources close to the deal.
Kushner Companies initially purchased the building 13 years ago for $276 million in a sale-leaseback with AT&T, according to Crain’s. The new sale would represent a 32 percent drop from the last sales price. AT&T’s 670,000-square-foot lease expires in 2022.
Kushner refinanced the building with a $184 million mortgage in 2017 from Apollo Global Management; the debt retired a $132 million mortgage, according to Crain’s. The refi agreement led White House ethics investigators to launch a probe in 2018 after an Apollo executive had meetings at the White House with Jared Kushner, President Trump’s adviser and son-in-law, and Charlie Kushner’s son.
In a statement after publication, Kushner president Laurent Morali told The Real Deal the “Chicago transaction has been a huge success for Kushner.” Morali added the company has “received approximately $275 million of triple net rental payments from AT&T over the last 12 years, which was used to reduce outstanding debt. The transaction will generate a substantial profit for Kushner.”
With the purchase, Onni is betting Chicago’s hobbled downtown office will return. Office vacancy in the city hit a nine-year high in the third quarter, according to a recent report from CBRE. Last year, Onni paid $78 million to buy the 17-story Union Tower in the Loop. [Crain’s] — Keith Larsen