The Real Deal New York

Sharif El-Gamal sued for alleged illegal rental

A landlord claims a company backed by El-Gamal misused a Tribeca gallery space

April 05, 2015 02:00PM

Sharif El-Gamal and 69 Leonard Street

Sharif El-Gamal and 69 Leonard Street

Developer Sharif El-Gamal is accused of illegally renting a Tribeca gallery for months. The landlord alleges that El-Gamal racked up safety violations from the city and caused at least one resident to leave.

El-Gamal and his brother, Adham El-Gamal, are “sophisticated” real estate players, claims landlord GG1 LLC in a Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit, who should have know better than to use the ground floor retail space at 69 Leonard Street for religious gatherings and “loud parties.”

They are also accused of holding “religious classes” for children in a basement that didn’t have proper fire exits, according to the New York Post. The FDNY even issued a violation.

El-Gamal is best known for stirring up controversy with his plans to develop a Muslim community center near the World Trade Center. He is currently developing an Islamic museum at the same site, at 51 Park Place, and an adjacent luxury condo tower at 45 Park Place.

El-Gamal denies renting space in 69 Leonard, but GG1 claims he used a “front” company “to shield [his] own personal liability with respect to [his] illegal conduct.” GG1 is seeking $372,000 in damages. [NYP]Christopher Cameron