LES mosque lacks funds

August 17, 2010 02:00PM

172 Eldridge Street (photo courtesy of Bowery Boogie)

While the planned mosque at Ground Zero has come under fire in recent weeks, another Islamic Center, on the Lower East Side, is facing its own problems. The new Assafa Islamic Center at 172 Eldridge Street has had its share of construction problems and run-ins with the Department of Buildings over the last 14 years, but its main issue now is financial. While there has been a relative uptick in activity in recent weeks and three of the six stories are built, funding for the mosque is almost completely depleted, according to Bowery Boogie. The center recently issued an urgent request for donations. “We have given 30 percent of the contracted amount, $1.85 million, to the contractors which is now insufficient to continue further work and require additional $1 million to proceed further with the construction of the Masjid project,” the plea said. Floor plans for the building include separate prayer areas for men and women, a gift shop, a research library, a housing facility and an Islamic school. But until the mosque is completed, prayers will be held in the basement of 172 Allen Street. [Bowery Boogie]