Jared Kushner’s Company Nears Deal With Qatari-Backed Firm: Report

Kushner Companies, the family business partially owned by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, is closing in on a deal with a Qatari government–backed company to save its failed investment in a Manhattan skyscraper, The New York Times reported Thursday.

Brookfield Properties, a publicly traded company that counts the Qatar Investment Authority as a major investor, is in talks to take ownership of 666 Fifth Avenue, a Manhattan skyscraper that represents one of the largest blunders in the recent history of New York real estate, the Times reported. Kushner Companies, then led by Jared and Charles Kushner, his father and the company’s current head, purchased the property for a then-record $1.8 billion in 2007.

But the market crash the next year wiped out much of the value of their investment, and in recent years Kushner Companies has tried to line up a deal to get out from under $1.4 billion worth of debt on the skyscraper that is due next year. The Times reported revenue from the building produces just half its annual mortgage payment.

The younger Kushner, who is also the son-in-law of President Donald Trump, sold his stake in the building to a trust controlled by his mother when he joined the Trump administration. (He still retains a stake in Kushner Companies.)

One of Kushner’s many roles in the administration is bringing peace to the Middle East, though he lacks diplomatic experience, and, as of February, no longer has access to highly classified information. Kushner’s dual role as both a Middle East adviser to the president and a major stakeholder in a company seeking foreign investment has raised eyebrows.

For example, in April 2017, Charles Kushner met with Qatari’s Finance Minister, The Intercept reported in March. Just a month after that meeting, the younger Kushner pushed for U.S. support of a blockade of Qatar by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, despite the objections of Rex Tillerson, then secretary of state, who tried to broker a resolution to the standoff.