Jared Kushner, President Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, is reportedly facing “significant” financial challenges relating to his family’s real estate business — particularly in regards to a 2006 ambitious purchase of Manhattan property.
In a deep-dive report, Bloomberg News reports that Kushner Companies owes “hundreds of millions of dollars” on an office building in midtown Manhattan — 666 Fifth Avenue. It is the result of an ill-fated move in 2006 that saw the company buy the property for a Manhattan record of $1.8 billion — almost all of it borrowed.
Bloomberg reports that Kushner Companies still holds half of a $1.2 billion mortgage, of which it has not paid anything, but which is due by February 2019.
“It has failed to secure foreign investors, despite an extensive search, and its resources are more limited than generally understood,” the outlet reports. “As a result, the company faces significant challenges.”
In search of investment, executives and members of the Kushner family have reportedly tried to tap investment sources in South Korea, France, Israel, China, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. It has also taken a toll in other areas, as the company reportedly sold thousands of apartments to finance the purchase of the building, extracted cash from at least one other property, and has borrowed “extensively” for other deals.
“The strain has become increasingly evident across their holdings. One person familiar with the company’s finances describes the tower, with its low ceilings and outdated floor plan, as the Jenga puzzle piece that could set the empire teetering,” Bloomberg reports
Kushner Cos., however, claims that such reports are overblown, and told Bloomberg it is encouraged by a number of interested investors.
“Reports that portray it as a distressed situation are just not accurate for the building or for the company,” Kushner Cos. President Laurent Morali told the outlet.
The reported hardships come on top of a number of controversies involving Kusher. New York investigators are reportedly looking into the company’s use of an investment-for-immigration scheme in relation to a development in New Jersey.
Nicole Kushner Meyer, Kushner’s sister, made a pitch in May to Chinese investors for the project and reportedly teased green cards.
An ad for the event said: “Invest $500,000 and immigrate to the United States.” While a speaker reportedly seemed to be guiding investors to avoid that hazard: “Invest early, and you will invest under the old rules.”
The Kushner family later apologized for mentioning the connection to the Trump administration in the pitch. Kushner stepped down from his role at the company in January and has sold his stake in it.
Federal investigators are also reportedly looking into Kushner’s business dealings as part of a broader probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, particularly about a secret December meeting with the head of a Russian bank. Kushner testified behind closed doors last month before the Senate Intelligence Committee, in part about his business dealings.
Particularly, Kushner is likely to have caught the eye of investigators as he was part of the now-famous meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian-linked lawyer at Trump Tower in June 2016 — a meeting Trump Jr. took because he believed there would be information that would “incriminate” Hillary Clinton.
Kushner Companies changed public relations firms this month, moving to a company that reportedly specializes in crisis management — a possible sign that the company is spooked by the increasing scrutiny its dealings now face.
Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY