666 Fifth Avenue

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666 Fifth Avenue
666 Fifth Avenue by David Shankbone.jpg
General information
Location666 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, New York 10103
Coordinates40°45′37″N 73°58′34″W / 40.760163°N 73.976204°W / 40.760163; -73.976204
OwnerBrookfield Properties
Roof483 ft (147 m)
Technical details
Floor count41
Floor area1,463,892 sq ft (136,000.0 m2)
Design and construction
ArchitectCarson & Lundin
DeveloperTishman Realty and Construction

666 Fifth Avenue is a 41-story office building on Fifth Avenue between 52nd and 53rd Streets in Midtown Manhattan, New York City.[1] The office tower was designed by Carson & Lundin and built in 1957 by Tishman Realty and Construction, which sold it when the corporation dissolved in 1976. 666 Fifth Avenue was bought by Sumitomo Realty & Development in the late 1990s, and Tishman Speyer bought it back in 2000, adding tenants before selling it yet again to Kushner Properties in 2007.[2]

The Grand Havana Room of the property was the site of a August 2, 2016 meeting between Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and Russian-Ukrainian Konstantin Kilimnik which drew the attention of the Mueller investigation due to Manafort giving Kilimnik polling data at the meeting and asking Kilimnik to pass the data to pro-Russian Ukrainians Serhiy Lyovochkin and Rinat Akhmetov.[3][4][5][6]

In August 2018, Brookfield Properties purchased the building.[7][8]

Ownership and history[edit]

Front of 666 Fifth Avenue

Construction, Tishman ownership, and sales[edit]

The Tishman family via Tishman Realty and Construction built the 1,500,000-square-foot (140,000 m2) tower in 1957.[9] It was designed by Carson & Lundin, who also simultaneously worked on 600 Fifth Avenue in the nearby Rockefeller Center, and the building was called the Tishman Building. One of its most famous exterior features was the prominent 666 address emblazoned on the top of the building. The other distinctive exterior features are embossed aluminum panels. The original design included lobby sculptures by Japanese American artist and landscape architect Isamu Noguchi, including the "Landscape of the Cloud" which consists of sinuously cut thin railings in the ceiling to create a cloud effect. The cloud is also carried into a ceiling-to-floor waterfall. The penthouse was occupied by the Top of the Sixes restaurant, operated by Stouffer's, which closed in 1996.[10] For many years the building had a distinctive feature of a T-shaped atrium walk-through open to the sidewalks on 52nd Street, 53rd Street and Fifth Avenue with glass storefronts inside the walk-through. This included a bookstore and another area used for years by Alitalia Airlines. For many years, the building was the home of Benton & Bowles, a major advertising firm.

Tishman Realty dissolved in 1976 and the building was sold for $80 million (about $280 million in 2018[11]). In the late 1980s, Japanese firms bought both Rockefeller Center and 666 Fifth Avenue. The new owner of 666 Fifth was Japanese realty and development company Sumitomo. Major changes included replacing the Top of the Sixes restaurant with the Grand Havana Room, a cigar bar private club.[12]

The newly reconstituted Tishman Speyer Properties bought the building for $518 million in 2000 (about $730 million in 2018)[11], and about the same time Tishman also bought Rockefeller Center. Shortly after the purchase, Tishman enclosed the atrium walk-through and added a third tenant, Hickey Freeman.[13] The enclosure cut off the Fifth Avenue entrance, and access now has to be via 52nd or 53rd Street. In 2002 the 666 address on the side of the building was replaced with a Citigroup logo, and Citigroup is now the building's largest tenant.[14] The 2006 sale was the third blockbuster deal involving Tishman in two years. In 2005 Tishman bought the MetLife Building for $1.72 billion (about $2.2 billion in 2018)[11], setting the previous record.[15] A month before the 666 sale, Tishman bought Stuyvesant Town–Peter Cooper Village for $5.4 billion, which was the biggest real estate deal in U.S. history.[16]


In January 2007, Tishman Speyer, along with the German investment firm TMW, announced the sale of the building to Kushner Properties for $1.8 billion (about $2.2 billion in 2018[11]), at the time the highest price ever paid for an individual building in Manhattan.[2] This was an unconventional price for such a short building by New York standards, standing at 483 ft (147 m). 666 Fifth is not among the top 100 tallest buildings in New York City, but its high price was mainly because of its location on Fifth Avenue near Rockefeller Center. Kushner sold the retail condominium portion of 666 Fifth to a Stanley Chera-led group for $525 million in 2008 (about $610 million in 2018).[11][17] In March 2017, reports were made that Anbang Insurance Group of China was in talks to purchase an interest in the building, based on a value of $2.85 billion ($1.6 billion for the office section, and $1.25 billion for the retail section); some of the alleged terms of the deal were called "unusually favorable," including an exit for Vornado Realty Trust and retirement of the Kushner organization's remaining debt at 20 cents on the dollar, raising concerns about political influence on the Donald Trump presidential administration due to Jared Kushner's position.[18] Shortly after the reports were made, Anbang denied that they were looking to invest in the building.[19]

In March 2017, Zaha Hadid Architects announced plans for a $12 billion, 1,400 foot skyscraper being developed by the Kushner organization to replace the current building. The new building, to include retail and residential space and a hotel, would be completed by 2025 at the earliest, and would face a park, created by razing a block of current buildings. The developers also plan to change the name to 660 Fifth Avenue, to avoid the diabolical association with the number 666.[20][21] The plans to replace the current building were later withdrawn.[22]

In late April 2017, Charles Kushner met with Qatari Finance Minister Sharif Al Emadi in an attempt to secure funding for the tower from Qatar's sovereign wealth fund. Emadi did not agree to invest Qatar's fund in the project.[23] About one month later, the 2017-18 Qatar diplomatic crisis began. Jared Kushner reportedly undermined United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's efforts to resolve the crisis.[24]

In September 2017, the Washington Post wrote: "With one-fourth of its offices empty, lease revenue does not cover monthly interest payments, according to lending documents. A $1.2 billion mortgage, with escalating interest rates, comes due in 18 months. A ratings agency has classified a $115 million portion of the loan as 'troubled,' and company officials decline to say whether it will be fully repaid."[25] Due to the large amount of debt owed on the tower, Vornado Realty Trust, which owned 49.5 percent of the tower, said in February 2018 that it planned to sell its stake in the building.[26] Vornado's stake in the property was subsequently sold to Kushner Cos. on June 1, 2018.[27][28]

In August 2018, Brookfield Properties, in which the government of Qatar is a major investor[29], signed a 99 year lease for the land, effectively taking ownership of the building.[7][8][30]

In February 2019 ING Bank loaned Brookfield Properties $750 million to pay for renovations on the property.[31]


Subway entrance[edit]

The building contains an entrance to the New York City Subway's Fifth Avenue/53rd Street station, which is served by the E and ​M trains.[39] When the Hollister Co. store was opened, polished gray columns were placed in the lobby near the elevators and changes were made to the subway entrance at the base of the building.

In popular culture[edit]

The opening lunch scene for the movie The Wolf of Wall Street was filmed in the former Top of the Sixes restaurant.[40]

The 1959 documentary film Skyscraper [41] was about the construction of 666 Fifth Avenue.[42] The film's director Shirley Clarke described it as a "musical comedy about the building of a skyscraper." Skyscraper was nominated for an Academy Award in 1960.[43]

Beginning in season 4 of Mad Men, the large "666" signage on top of the building can be seen prominently through the window just outside of Don Draper’s office in the Time-Life Building.

The building features in the 1978 horror novel Falling Angel by William Hjortsberg (adapted into the 1987 horror film Angel Heart). The novel's inciting incident is the meeting at the Top of the Sixes between gumshoe Johnny Angel and a mysterious client, Louis Cyphre. Hjortsberg's protagonist remarks of the building, "It looked like a forty-story cheese grater."

In Good Omens, the novel by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, the character of Famine is introduced at Top of the Sixes, celebrating the success of his diet book.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "666 Fifth Avenue". tishmanspeyer.com. Tishman Speyer Properties. Archived from the original on June 28, 2007. Retrieved September 30, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Bagli, Charles V. (December 7, 2006). "Big Deal, Even in Manhattan: A Tower Goes for $1.8 Billion". The New York Times. Retrieved September 30, 2016.
  3. ^ Kenneth P. Vogel and Andrew E. Kramer (February 23, 2019). "Russian Spy or Hustling Political Operative? The Enigmatic Figure at the Heart of Mueller's Inquiry". NYTimes.com. Retrieved March 6, 2019.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  4. ^ Polantz, Katelyn (January 8, 2019). "Mueller believes Manafort fed information to Russian with intel ties". CNN. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  5. ^ LaFraniere, Sharon; Vogel, Kenneth P.; Haberman, Maggie (January 8, 2019). "Manafort Accused of Sharing Trump Polling Data With Russian Associate". Retrieved January 9, 2019 – via NYTimes.com.
  6. ^ Rosalind S. Helderman and Tom Hamburger (February 12, 2019). "How Manafort's 2016 meeting with a Russian employee at New York cigar club goes to 'the heart' of Mueller's probe". WashingtonPost.com. Retrieved February 14, 2019.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  7. ^ a b "Deal Gives Kushners Cash Infusion on 666 Fifth Avenue". Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Kushner Companies finally makes a deal to offload its troubled Midtown tower". Curbed NY. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  9. ^ Staff (January 30, 2007). "666 Fifth Avenue Deal Closes". The New York Observer.
  10. ^ Stout, David (September 18, 1996). "No More of Tables for Two at the Top of the Sixes". The New York Times.
  11. ^ a b c d e Thomas, Ryland; Williamson, Samuel H. (2019). "What Was the U.S. GDP Then?". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved April 6, 2019. United States Gross Domestic Product deflator figures follow the Measuring Worth series.
  12. ^ a b La Roche, Julia (February 1, 2013). "Tour The Exclusive Cigar Club Where Wall Streeters And Charlie Gasparino Love To Hang Out". Business Insider.
  13. ^ Horsley, Carter B. "The Tishman Building". The Midtown Book. Retrieved September 30, 2016.
  14. ^ Chapman, Parke (December 12, 2006). "Top Price for Top of the Sixes". National Real Estate Investor. Archived from the original on February 3, 2015. Retrieved September 30, 2016.
  15. ^ Ramirez, Anthony (April 2, 2005). "Sells 2nd Building, A Landmark On Park Ave". The New York Times.
  16. ^ Baglidec, Charles V. (November 18, 2006). "Sale of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village Goes Through Despite Some Tenants' Efforts". The New York Times.
  17. ^ Rubinstein, Dana (July 1, 2008). "Carlyle Group Buys Stake in 666 Fifth Retail for $525 M." Observer. Retrieved September 30, 2016.
  18. ^ David Kocieniewski and Caleb Melby (March 13, 2017). "Kushners Set to Get $400 Million From Chinese Firm on Tower". Bloomberg News.
  19. ^ "China's Anbang denies report of Kushner property investment". Reuters. March 14, 2017.
  20. ^ Howarth, Dan (March 23, 2017). "Zaha Hadid Architects unveils 666 Fifth Avenue skyscraper for Kushner Companies". Dezeen. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  21. ^ Capps, Kriston (March 24, 2017). "666 Fifth Avenue Is the Perfect Symbol for the Trump Era". CityLab. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  22. ^ "Kushners are 'weighing our options' for the future of 666 Fifth Avenue - Curbed NY". ny.curbed.com. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  23. ^ Clayton Swisher and Ryan Grim (March 2, 2018). "Jared Kushner's Real Estate Firm Sought Money Directly From Qatar Government Weeks Before Blockade". The Intercept. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
  24. ^ Mark Landler and Gardiner Harris (June 9, 2017). "Trump Team's Shifts Jolt Some Allies and Soothe Others". The New York Times. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
  25. ^ washingtonpost.com / Michael Kranish and Jonathan O'Connell, September 13, 2017: Kushner's White House role 'crushed' efforts to woo investors for NYC tower
  26. ^ Melby, Caleb (February 12, 2018). "Kushners' Indebted Tower May See Vornado Unload Its Stake". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved June 2, 2018.
  27. ^ Grant, Peter (June 2, 2018). "Kushner Cos. Signs Deal to Buy Remaining Stake in 666 Fifth Ave". WSJ. Retrieved June 2, 2018.
  28. ^ Melby, Caleb (June 1, 2018). "Kushner Buys 666 Fifth Stake, Ending Rocky Vornado Partnership". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved June 2, 2018.
  29. ^ Levin, Bess (February 12, 2019). "Qatar Shocked, Shocked to Learn It Accidentally Bailed Out Jared Kushner". Vanity Fair. Retrieved March 29, 2019.
  30. ^ "Brookfield Acquires 99 Year Lease on NYC tower from Kushner Company". bloomberg.com.
  31. ^ "Brookfield Closes Largest Piece of 666 Fifth Refinancing". The Real Deal.
  32. ^ Mott, Gordon (September – October 1997). "Grand Havana Room, New York City". Cigar Aficionado. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
  33. ^ "Japanese Retail Phenomenon Uniqlo Selects 666 Fifth Avenue for Global Flagship Store". BusinessWire.com (Press release). New York. April 20, 2010. Retrieved September 30, 2016.
  34. ^ Chu, Jeff (June 18, 2012). "Cheap, Chic, And Made For All: How Uniqlo Plans To Take Over Casual Fashion". Fast Company. Retrieved September 30, 2016.
  35. ^ Feran, Tim (December 7, 2010). "Surf's up at newest Hollister store in NYC". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved December 26, 2010.[permanent dead link]
  36. ^ "New York". Norton Rose Fulbright. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
  37. ^ "New York". Schiff Hardin. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
  38. ^ "New York". Norton Rose Fulbright. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
  39. ^ "MTA Neighborhood Maps: Midtown East / Grand Central" (PDF). mta.info. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2018. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  40. ^ "The scandalous history behind Kushner's ritzy Midtown building". New York Post. April 18, 2017. Retrieved February 20, 2018. In his 2007 memoir, “The Wolf of Wall Street,” Jordan Belfort recalled lunching at Top of the Sixes with a pal from LF Rothschild, downstairs. “It was where Masters of the Universe could get blitzed on martinis and exchange war stories,” Belfort wrote, as depicted in the 2013 movie.
  41. ^ Skyscraper 1959 40780 HD-PeriscopeFilm on YouTube
  42. ^ Monaco, James (1991). The Encyclopedia of Film. Perigee Books. ISBN 9780399516047.
  43. ^ "The 32nd Academy Awards | 1960". Oscars.org | Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved January 22, 2018.

External links[edit]