Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner had been struggling to find a firm willing to bail out his company’s flagship building before joining the Trump administration, but it appears that Kushner Companies has potentially found a ready partner in a firm with ties to the government of Qatar.
Charles Kushner, head of the Kushner Companies, is in advanced talks with Brookfield Properties over a partnership to take control of the 41-story aluminum-clad tower 666 Fifth Avenue in Midtown, according to two real estate executives who have been briefed on the pending deal but are not authorized to discuss it. Brookfield is a publicly traded company, headquartered in Canada, one of whose major investors is the Qatar Investment Authority.
Brookfield has extensive ties to Qatar. The Qatar Investment Authority is the second-largest shareholder in Brookfield Properties, ranking only behind Brookfield’s former parent company. And the Qatar fund and Brookfield have teamed up on several real estate deals in the United States and elsewhere in recent years, including Brookfield’s retail and apartment complex, Manhattan West, now under construction on the West Side. Brookfield and Qatar also control the Canary Wharf office complex in London.
The Kushner father and son were close to a deal last year with Anbang, a state-connected Chinese insurance company, and Qatari billionaire Hamad bin Jassim Al-Thani, but the plans were scuttled after lawmakers voiced concern over Jared’s dual political and business roles.
The deal with Brookfield is likely to raise further concerns about Jared Kushner’s dual role as a White House point person on the Middle East and a continuing stake holder in the family’s company. Mr. Kushner earlier this year lost his top-secret security clearance amid concerns that foreign governments could attempt to gain influence with the White House by doing business with the Kushner Companies.