Ground Zero mosque developers only own half of proposed site

August 09, 2010 08:30AM

The proposed mosque site on Park Place

The developers of the controversial mosque near Ground Zero may have cleared the Landmarks Preservation Commission last week, but it turns out that they only own half the site they intend to build on, according to the Post. The $100 million project is slated to go up on the site of Two Buildings On Park Place, one of which is still owned by Con Edison. Developer Soho Properties purchased 45-47 Park Place in 2009 for $4.8 million and paid an extra $700,000 to take over the 99-year lease for Con Ed’s 49-51 Park Place, which is connected. The lease is akin to ownership, Soho Properties said, and demolition is allowed under the terms. Also included is an option to purchase the property outright. In February, Soho Properties head Sharif El-Gamal told Con Ed that it would like to follow through with the purchase, and the company is now setting its price. But a sale could set off another firestorm of controversy as the proposed deal would have to be approved by the Public Service Commission, where it could be subject to a vote by a five-member board controlled by Gov. David Paterson. [Post]