The Real Deal New York

Park51 developer still does not have funds to build community center

July 25, 2011 09:05AM


Following a huge legal victory for Park51, the Islamic community center near Ground Zero, attorney Adam Leitman Bailey appeared on Fox News (see video above) to talk construction costs. The attorney, who defended Park 51 developer Sharif El-Gamal against a lawsuit from former New York City firefighter Timothy Brown, said the developer still does not have the money to build the mosque. “Knocking it down doesn’t cost a lot of money,” he said of the demolition of the former Burlington coat factory at the site, “but building it does.”

Bailey said architects anticipate construction will cost around $17 millon, but political commentator Bill O’Reilly argued that figure was much too low.

O’Reilly continued to criticize Bailey and the Park51 developers, calling them insensitive to the families of Sept. 11 victims. “I don’t believe there’s a construction crew in New York of New Jersey that will come over and help you build it,” he said.

Last month, a Manhattan judge dismissed a lawsuit by Brown who was trying to halt the construction of the community center. Brown had tried to overturn a decision by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission to deny landmark status to a 150-year-old building on the Park Place site.

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