I think I am going to send Con Ed an extra few bucks this Christmas. Finally, Gamal was exposed out loud and in public. The lawyer for Con Ed called the grifter Gamal what he is, a "deadbeat slumlord," and argued that Gamal "doesn't have a prayer" of paying the $1.7 million he owes in back rent.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if some angel bought the building after the mosqueteers were evicted, and built a memorial to the well over 270 million victims of jihadi wars, land appropriations, cultural annihilations and enslavements? That's what belongs in a building destroyed in the 911 attacks.
Need I tell Atlas readers how much joy it brought to me to write this post?
Con Ed wants to evict Ground Zero mosque developer over $1.7M back rent The NY Post
Con Edison wants a judge to give it the green light to evict the would-be developer of a controversial community center and mosque near Ground Zero, arguing he doesn't have a prayer of paying the $1.7 million he owes in back rent.
At a hearing in Manhattan Supreme Court today , Con Ed lawyer Scott Mollen portrayed Sharif el-Gamal as a deadbeat slumlord who's far too cash-strapped to pay back all the money he owes the utility.
"They're $1.7 million in arrears, and they have not come close to demonstrating they have the ability" to pay up on the rent at 51 Park Place, Mollen told Justice Richard Braun. Mollen was trying to convince the judge to lift a restraining order barring Con Ed from giving Gamal the boot from the site.
The lawyer noted that Gamal is currently being sued by four banks for failing to pay loan guarantees, and also owes $230,000 in back real estate taxes – and he also hasn't paid up on a $30,000 power bill.
He said another indication of Gamal's money woes is that three of the buildings he owns currently have 754 building code violations, 80 percent of which are for "extremely hazardous" or "hazardous" conditions. If Gamal had the money, Mollen suggested, he'd simply pay to fix the problems.
"There's a mountain of evidence that shows a person in significant financial distress," Mollen said.
Con Ed owns a former substation on the western half of the property, at 51 Park Place, and the mosque developers own a five-story building on the eastern half. The buildings were connected years ago and used to house a Burlington Coat Factory store. Gamal's Park51, which had been leasing the substation from Con Ed with an eye towards buying it, wants the two buildings so it can knock both down and build a $100 million, 15-story community center.
After years of stalled lease negotiations, Con Ed raised the rent from $2,750 a month, a rate set in 1972, to $47,437 a month, retroactive to July 31, 2008. The judge said he would rule on Con Ed's request at a later date.
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