Kushner Plunks Down $200M in Cash to Repay Loan

Premier New York City real estate concern Kushner Cos. has reached into its pocket for $200 million in cash to pay off a loan, according to a report by Reuters yesterday. Kushner spent a whopping $1.8 billion in January 2007 to acquire the 1.5 million-square-foot office building at 666 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, relying on a $1 billon loan for the purchase. Kevin Swill, president of Kushner, shared his thoughts on the current refinancing market with Reuters, calling it, “disturbing.” It is unclear if Kushner relied on cash reserves or if the company sold properties specifically to pay the loan. However, its recent $25 million sale of its 85 percent stake in the 250,000-square-foot Military Park Building at 60 Park Place in Newark, N.J., was definitely not facilitated to get cash for the loan repayment. The Berger Organization, which had already owned 15 percent of the building, bought Kushner’s share. “The Military Park Building sale was not at all involved with any other transactions,” Gary Gabriel, executive director with real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield Inc.’s Metropolitan capital markets group, told CPN today; Gabriel marketed the property on behalf of Kushner. While Gabriel was not involved in Kushner’s loan repayment, he did note that, due to the current lending climate, “cash has become a much larger component of purchase prices than it had been before mid-2007.”Reportedly, Kushner is due to pay another $200 million within the next six months.