A Manhattan judge has granted 51 Park Place and developer Sharif El-Gamal a so-called Yellowstone injunction blocking Consolidated Edison from evicting the developer from the prospective Muslim community center building for allegedly violating a default notice issued Sept. 14, the New York Law Journal reported, giving El-Gamal 20 days to pay up or challenge Con Ed.
As previously reported, Con Ed, which owns a substation on the western half of the property where the developers want to build a community center, ordered the Soho Properties CEO and Park51 developers to pay $1.7 million owed in back rent in October and threatened to evict the team behind the controversial mosque, near Ground Zero. Park51 paid $700,000 to lease the substation in 2009, which had a monthly rent of $2,750. In August, however, the utility raised the rent, retroactive to July 2008, to $47,437 per month.
Con Ed may be “bowing to unspecified political pressure,” the judge wrote in his decision, referring to the bad publicity the mosque controversy has brought to the building. [NY Law Journal]