Rats. Surprising? No. But true to form.
The developer who wants to build a $100 million mosque and community center near Ground Zero can’t take care of a rat-ridden apartment building with just 14 units.
Sharif El-Gamal, the main developer behind the mosque, has nearly 400 open violations that he has refused to fix despite a court order. His company owes the city $61,633 in fines, fees and taxes for the property at 1835 Amsterdam Ave.
El-Gamal, a principal in the company that owns the Washington Heights building, is due in court Thursday. If he doesn’t show up, he risks being sent to jail.
He already failed to appear at a Sept. 28 hearing.
Tenant Madeline Javier has been locked in a legal battle with El-Gamal and his partners to try to fix the problems in her $647-a-month apartment.
She claims in legal papers that her bathroom ceiling collapsed, blocking the tub, toilet and sink, and that dust and vermin worsened her and her children’s asthma. She said the conditions forced her to flee to live in her mother’s home for two years.
“It’s really bad,” Javier said. “They always promise they’re going to fix, and they don’t do nothing.”
More than 150 complaints about the building, including rats, roaches and lack of heat, were logged with the city from July 2010 to May 2011.
The building’s staircase “was obstructed with construction debris, and the fire escapes were also obstructed,” according to legal papers.
There are 366 housing-code violations that the owner hasn’t addressed, according to the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
Have a tip we should know? Your anonymity is NEVER compromised. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Truth Must be Told
Your contribution supports independent journalism
Please take a moment to consider this. Now, more than ever, people are reading Geller Report for news they won't get anywhere else. But advertising revenues have all but disappeared. Google Adsense is the online advertising monopoly and they have banned us. Social media giants like Facebook and Twitter have blocked and shadow-banned our accounts. But we won't put up a paywall. Because never has the free world needed independent journalism more.
Everyone who reads our reporting knows the Geller Report covers the news the media won't. We cannot do our ground-breaking report without your support. We must continue to report on the global jihad and the left's war on freedom. Our readers’ contributions make that possible.
Geller Report's independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our work is critical in the fight for freedom and because it is your fight, too.
Please contribute here.
Make a monthly commitment to support The Geller Report – choose the option that suits you best.