Monday, October 18, 2010

Ground Zero mosque developer sued by Valley National Bank for default on loan

10/17/10, "The money woes keep growing for a developer of the Ground Zero mosque. Valley National Bank is suing Sharif El-Gamal and his real-estate company, Soho Properties, seeking $95,778 plus interest for an unrepaid loan.
  • The firm took out a $100,000 line of credit, guaranteed by El-Gamal, from the bank in 2008, but defaulted in early 2009, according to court papers.
A spokesman for El-Gamal declined to comment yesterday. his landlord initiated eviction proceedings over $39,000 in back rent.
  • He also failed to pay his city taxes in January and July, but agreed to a payment plan in September for $270,000, including interest.
El-Gamal has been a leader in the controversial proposal to build a mosque and community center on Park Place, two blocks from the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center." Reference: El-Gamal says the city has over-valued the land he seeks for the mosque. His dispute with the city to lower its assessed value continues. El-Gamal withheld $224,000 in property tax due on the property which may create another violation.
  • Con Edison still owns half the land, and their agreement states that taxes must be up to date.
9/18, AP: "Questions about the project's finances have lingered. The investment partnership that owns the property, led by El-Gamal, quickly fell more than $224,000 behind on its property taxes this summer. The city's finance department confirmed Friday that El-Gamal had begun resolving that debt Wednesday, turning over a check for a little more than $35,000 and signing on to an eight-installment payment plan to pay the rest. Delinquent taxes may violate mosque developer's agreement with Con Edison
  • 8/29: "The delinquency is a possible violation of el Gamal's lease with Con Edison, which owns half of the proposed building site for the mosque and community center on Park Place. El Gamal owns the other half but must pay taxes on the entire plot.
The lease agreement, obtained by the Post, specifies that el Gamal's company pay taxes on the property and submit receipts to Con Edison. The utility said it would review any possible lease violations."...


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