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Indebted Kushner Tower gets a Qatar-linked lifeline

The building is behind on mortgage payment and 30% vacant

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Kushner Tower is owned by Charles Kushner and his son Jared (son-in-law of President Trump) 11 years ago for US$1.8b, then a record price for an office tower.

New York

THE company controlled by the family of White House adviser Jared Kushner is close to receiving a bailout of its troubled flagship building by a company with financial ties to the government of Qatar, executives briefed on the deal have said.

Charles Kushner, head of the Kushner Cos, is in advanced talks with Brookfield Asset Management over a partnership to take control of 666 Fifth Ave, a 41-storey aluminum-clad tower in mid-town Manhattan.

The two real-estate executives who have been briefed on the deal were not formally authorised to discuss it publicly.

Brookfield is a publicly traded company, and its real estate arm, Brookfield Property Partners, is partly owned by the Qatari government through the Qatar Investment Authority.

Charles Kushner and his son Jared, US President Donald Trump's son-in-law and one of his key advisers, bought the office tower, which is between 52nd and 53rd streets, 11 years ago for US$1.8 billion, a record price for an office tower. But the building today generates only about half its annual mortgage payment, and 30 per cent of it is vacant. The Kushner family had been searching the globe for a partner for the building, including meeting, as recently as last year, Qatari billionaire Hamad bin Jassim Al-Thani, the country's former prime minister.

The Kushner Cos declined to comment.

Both Brookfield and the Qatar Investment Authority, the sovereign fund of the oil-rich Middle Eastern emirate, said the Investment Authority had no knowledge of the deal. A spokesman for the Investment Authority said the fund "has no involvement whatsoever in this deal."

But the Qatar Investment Authority is the second-biggest investor in Brookfield Property Partners, Brookfield's real estate arm. The deal is likely to raise further concerns about the younger Kushner's dual role as a White House point person on the Middle East and a stakeholder in the family's company.

Peter Mirijanian, a spokesman for Mr Kushner's lawyer Abbe Lowell, said: "In consultation with the Office of Government Ethics, Mr Kushner has had no role in the Kushner Cos." NYTIMES

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