Sunday, July 08, 2012
Ground Zero Mega-Mosque Developer Loses Court Fight, Owes Con Ed $1.7M In Rent
The mega-mosque project planned at Ground Zero continues to run into major 'difficulties', and all the massaging by New York City's farcical Mayor Bloomberg can't help.
First there was the exposure of Imam Rauf as a rabid Islamist who favors sharia in the with major ties to some very questionable people. Next, there was Imam Rauf's failure to raise the estimated $100 million from the Arab world it's going to take to build this atrocity and his subsequent exit from the project.
And finally, the developer behind the Mosque, Egyptian-born Sharif El-Gamal just lost an important battle in court, which upheld a $ 1.7 million judgment in favor of New York utility Con Ed for back rent:
Chalk one up for Con Edison in its battle over back rent with the mosque developer at 51 Park Place.
The Post has learned that in June, State Supreme Court Judge Richard Braun upheld the $10.35 million appraisal price obtained by the utility, which it used to calculate the rent.
Con Ed argues that it is owed $1.7 million in back rent and $47,437 a month in rent for the building that sits on its land. But Sharif El-Gamal, the Park51 Mosque developer, contends Con Ed’s math is bad and that it owes $881,519 in back rent and $25,875 a month going forward.
“We were confident that the appraisal process was sound. We are pleased with the court’s ruling,” said Con Ed spokesman Allan Drury.
What's in question here is rent on Con Ed’s substation at 51 Park. It's over at the same site where El-Gamal’s group bought the old Burlington Coat Factory at 45-47 Park Place in 2009 for $4.8 million, a deep discount after it was rendered uninhabitable by the 9/11 attacks.
El-Gamal was an ex-waiter at the Sarafina Restaurant in New York City just a short time ago and later an apartment rental agent who worked part time on commission who somehow managed to save up $5 million to become a real estate developer overnight. He has a rather interesting past (delinquent taxes, loan defaults a prostitution bust, assault beefs). He's obviously a front man for a group of people who remain unnamed.
One of them whom isn't a secret is El-Gamal’s partner, Nour Mousa, who just happens to be the nephew of former Arab League leader Amr Moussa, who headed the League at the time the Ground Zero site was purchased. When the Mob does this, they call it ‘conduit financing.’
Needless to say, El-Gamal's attorneys plan to appeal. But for now, the Ground Zero Mosque appears dead in the water.