February 13, 2018 / 11:26 PM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-Vornado says will sell stake in Kushner's flagship Manhattan tower

(Adds level of current debt)

NEW YORK, Feb 13 (Reuters) - One of New York’s largest property owners said on Tuesday it would sell its minority stake in a Manhattan office tower on Fifth Avenue controlled by the family of President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

Steven Roth, chairman and chief executive of Vornado Realty Trust, told analysts on a conference call that the real estate investment trust has “a relatively small investment in the property, which we expect to get back.”

Vornado said in its annual report on Monday that it had reclassified its 49.5 percent stake in the office portion of 666 Fifth Avenue because it did not intend to hold the asset on a long-term basis. No other information was provided.

“We basically believe that the returns and the structure and the time is such that we would rather exit than stick it out. It’s pretty much as simple as that,” Roth said on Tuesday.

Roth said in August 2017 that the fate of the 41-story flagship property of Kushner Cos, a developer and landlord founded by Jared’s father, was still being debated. Jared sold his interests in the realty company to a family trust in January 2017.

Kushner Cos acquired the building with a full block of prime Fifth Avenue retail frontage in 2006 for $1.8 billion, the most ever paid for a New York office tower at the time.

The 1.4 million square foot tower ran into difficulties during the recession and Kushner later refinanced $1.215 billion in debt, which comes due in February 2019. The debt has since ballooned to $1.448 billion, according to the annual report.

Vornado acquired its minority stake in 2011, when it helped recapitalize the tower with $70 million. A year later it bought retail space for $707.8 million. (Reporting by Herbert Lash)

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