The major redevelopment of the Kushner Companies' 666 Fifth Avenue building by Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) may be stalled for good. According to Bloomberg, Kushner's partner on the project, Vornado Realty Trust, has decided to simply renovate the site's existing structure. Kushner's original plan, with designs by ZHA, was to strip the current building down to its steel core and extend it up into a 1,400-foot-tall slender cigarette of a tower. The building would have included luxury condos and office space as well as a five-story mall. Currently the property, a 1957 Carson & Lundin-designed aluminum panel building, is a sturdy 41 stories with its unforgettable address displayed in huge numerals at its peak. In ZHA's plan, the development would have been rechristened 660 Fifth Avenue, distancing itself a bit from the connotations of its current address. When the renderings for the new tower were released earlier this year, finding investors for the project proved difficult. Some were concerned by a potential conflict of interest as Kushner Companies' former director, Jared Kushner, left to serve as the senior advisor to his father-in-law, President Donald J. Trump. Anbang Insurance Group, a Chinese conglomerate, pulled out of investment negotiations with Kushner in late March, dealing a significant blow to the development's progress. Now that Vornado has refocused its attention as well, ZHA's design is on hold. Both of the partnering organizations have vastly different stakes. Vornado spent $80 million for its share of the project with money drawn from a secure portfolio of properties. Kushner Companies had to withdraw the costs for their share–$30 million–from the property itself, having struggled to find investors since the beginning of the Trump presidency. Politics aside, it looks for now like Midtown Manhattan won't be getting Hadid's steel-frame torpedo. Those interested in renting an apartment at 666 Fifth Avenue (which were estimated to go at $6,000 per square foot) can perhaps plead for a condo exchange at ZHA's new residences in Chelsea at 520 West 28th Street.
Posts tagged with "666 Fifth Avenue":
[3/29/2017 — UPDATE: Anbang backs out of negotiations to redevelop 666 Fifth via The Real Deal] Plans to convert the existing building at 666 Fifth Avenue, a long-idled development project owned by Kushner Companies and Vornado Realty Trust, might yet see the light of day as foreign investors indicate their interest in financing the tower. Kushner Companies was led by son-in-law to President Donald Trump and former CEO Jared Kushner until mid-January when he relinquished his control over the company and formally divested his stake in 666 Fifth Avenue. Though some have questioned the significance of these measures to sever himself from the project, Kushner will purportedly no longer have a formal role as it moves forward and will recuse himself if any conflict-of-interest should arise. Yet, Kushner’s precarious web of financial entanglements could potentially haunt him. Shortly before his departure from his family's business, Kushner negotiated investment talks with Anbang Insurance Group, a Chinese company shrouded by opaque ownership and known associations with the Chinese state. In a report by 6sqft, sources say that Anbang has been involved in “advanced talks to provide as much as half of the $2.5 billion in equity for the planned redevelopment.” Though the company has denied it is a stakeholder in the 666 Fifth Avenue project, the deal seems to support its growing portfolio of real estate investments in New York City as they are also the owners of nearby Waldorf Astoria Hotel. The building will require a substantial redesign of the existing structural core to accommodate an additional 40 stories, a task to be resolved by London-based Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) which recently circulated a rendering of the ambitious 1,400-foot-tall tower. ZHA has been signed up for the project since 2015 and later this year will wrap construction on its first project in New York City, a residential building adjacent to the High Line. If all goes as intended, demolition will begin in 2019 with a desired completion by 2025.