Kushner Cos. is gearing up for the big leagues. The private real estate firm recently sold nearly 17,500 New Jersey apartment units for roughly $2 billion and is already reinvesting the money in a few choice properties in the Big Apple. The firm's most notable purchase: 666 Fifth Avenue, an office building in midtown Manhattan with a $1.8 billion price tag.

  • Kushner Cos. swapped apartment units for this Midtown office building.
    Kushner Cos. swapped apartment units for this Midtown office building.

The reshuffling of funds gives the firm “the opportunity to play with bigger transactions,” says principal Jared Kushner, who co-runs the firm with his father, Charles. “My dad spent 25 years acquiring roughly $2 billion worth of real estate that we sold, and we have acquired $1.8 billion in 30 days.” While the King of Prussia, Pa.-based firm certainly has its eye on Class A office buildings, it hasn't given up on apartments. The company still has ownership interests in about 6,500 units in the New Jersey area and is scouting out opportunities in Manhattan. “We have always been opportunistic real estate buyers and hope to continue to be so,” Kushner says.

The company's portfolio upgrade is a smart move, says Dan Fasulo, managing director of Real Capital Analytics, a New York-based national research and consulting firm. “Instead of fumbling around with garden apartments, they want to shift their focus to assets that they think have a higher potential for appreciation,” he says. “666 Fifth has already turned out to be a home-run based on how quickly midtown office prices have increased. If you have the energy and the wits to really compete in Manhattan, you should go for it.”