China's Anbang Insurance Group released a short statement Tuesday denying that it has investment to the 41-floor building owned by the family of Jared Kushner, U.S. President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser. "The information about Anbang investment in 666 Fifth Avenue is not correct, there is no investment from Anbang for this deal," a spokesman for Anbang said in Reuters report. The building, aging and is really in need of rehab funds, is located at 666 Fifth Avenue, just few blocks away from Trump Tower.
The first amount of acquisition was first reported to be $400 million but new reports especially following the denial of Anbang carried the figure $2.4 billion, making the aging property the highest valued in the blocks. Bloomberg also reported that the rehab plan for the tower involved luxury apartments at the top, a multifloor retail mall as the base and a hotel at the middle.
Senior adviser Jared Kushner has since distanced from the deal as media reported about his conflict of interest for making the deal between Kushner Cos and Anbang, one of China's biggest insurer. Kushner was first reported to have been extra busy pushing for the first meeting of President Trump and the Chinese President Xi Jinping to be held next month. In a report of The New York Times, White House spokesman Hope Hicks said on Monday that Kushner had sold his interest in the building to "a trust in which neither he, nor his wife, Ivanka Trump, nor their children are beneficiaries at a price based on third-party appraisals." The amount paid to Kushner was not revealed though.
In November, the chairman of Anbang, Wu Xiaohui was reported to have wined and dined with Jared Kushner at the Waldorf Astoria hotel, serving $2,100-a-bottle Château Lafite Rothschild. Wu married the granddaughter of Deng Xiaoping, China's paramount leader succeeding Mao Tse-tung. The reported plan of Anbang to acquire the Kushners' building has raised national security concerns especially that Anbang has links with China's top men in power while the Kushners have the same to their great in-law President Trump.