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Kushner Ditches $7.5B Teardown Dream For 666 Fifth, Eyeing Luxury Condos Instead

The rendering of 660 Fifth Ave., the redevelopment of 666 Fifth Ave., once planned by Kushner Cos. and designed by Zaha Hadid

Kushner Cos. has abandoned its plans to turn the 50-year-old office tower at 666 Fifth Ave. into a slender mixed-use monolith as it continues to look for ways to pay the $1.2B loan set to come due next year. 

Charles Kushner confirmed to The New York Times that he is negotiating a deal with Vornado to buy it out of its 49.5% stake in 666 Fifth Ave. after Vornado Chairman Steve Roth told investors last week the two had a "handshake" deal.

Kushner is running the firm while its previous CEO, his son Jared, serves as senior adviser to President Donald Trump, but said he has no concrete plans on how to move forward with the beleaguered property, which is 30% vacant and not making enough revenue to cover its debt obligations.

“We don’t know what we’re going to do,” he told the Times from his office in the building. "It’s definitely not a knockdown ... It’s definitely not the original plan.”

The original plan, which would have been bankrolled by now-troubled Chinese conglomerate Anbang, was a supertall tower designed by late Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid set to cost in the area of $7.5B. When Anbang pulled out of the negotiations, Roth might have put the final nail in the teardown plan's coffin when he publicly criticized its viability.

Vornado will continue to control the valuable Fifth Avenue retail space on the building's ground floor, but to secure another loan to pay off the building's mountainous debt, Kushner needs a plan for how to turn around the building's fortunes. That could mean an office renovation north of $200M and a conversion of the upper floors to residential condominiums, the Times reports.