Friday, December 15, 2023

Ground Zero mosque' in New York City is under danger of foreclosure due to loan default

 Delhi, India: The property in New York City, notoriously known as the 'Ground Zero Mosque' because of its closeness to the World Exchange Place site, is confronting dispossession. This development comes after developer Sharif El-Gamal defaulted on a $7.5 million loan. Both the site at 49-51 Park Place and the unfinished luxury condo tower at 45 Park Place are in danger of being repossessed.

When El-Gamal proposed constructing an Islamic center there, just a short distance from where the Twin Towers used to be, the location first garnered national attention. The proposal, which was made in 2010, was met with a lot of opposition, and the plans for the Islamic center were scrapped in favor of building high-end condominiums. However, El-Gamal's business has repeatedly failed to make mortgage payments, as evidenced by court documents, leading Blueberry Funding to seek foreclosure.

The lender's representative, Jeremy Doberman, stated that multiple failed negotiations with El-Gamal necessitated legal action.

"There comes a time when people's assurances are no longer sufficient, and you must move things to the next level in order to receive compensation. Doberman stated, "This is what the legal filing represents." The debt of $7.5 million, along with interest and at least $10,000 in legal fees, is the subject of the lawsuit.

In 2009, El-Gamal purchased the decaying building, which had previously housed a Burlington Coat Factory store that had been destroyed by the 9/11 attacks. His underlying proposition for the site incorporated a 13-story Muslim public venue with different conveniences. However, there was a lot of opposition to the project, with some families of 9/11 victims calling it insensitive and others defending it as a matter of religious freedom.

The site is still mostly empty, with the exception of a construction crane, despite the controversy and change in development plans. El-Gamal, on the other hand, hints at "big announcements" in the future and maintains his optimism regarding the project's future. He maintains this optimism despite ongoing foreclosure battles, including those with Margaritaville, his Times Square hotel.

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