Sharif El-Gamal, chairman and CEO of Soho Properties, also the man behind the proposed Park51 community center and mosque on Park Place in Lower Manhattan, is trying to sell a building — and not his Lower Manhattan property. Crain’s reported that El-Gamal is trying to trade 31 West 27th Street in order to push his downtown community center forward, Crain’s reported, speculating that the sale will provide Park51 with the necessary money for the venture.
El-Gamal purchased the 120,000-square-foot 12-story 102-year-old Chelsea building in 2007 for $45.7 million. According to Crain’s sources, El-Gamal hopes to collect $65 million from the sale.
Park51 has faced setbacks — including a lack of funds, threatened eviction, a separatre lawsuit over owed rent, public disagreement with the location, and the departure of the center’s imam — since December 2009. [Crain’s]