Condos, Islamic museum coming to failed Ground Zero Mosque site

From the New York Post

By Lois Weiss

The developer of the failed Ground Zero Mosque has nailed down “Sharia-compliant financing” for a new, luxury condominium tower and Islamic cultural museum on the same site, he and his banking partners said Wednesday.

The $174 million dollar project features a three-story Islamic cultural museum at 51 Park Place and 48 high-end residential condos in a 43-story tower at 45 Park Place in the Financial District.

The “Sharia-compliant” financing means the deal complies with complex Islamic laws that govern lending and borrowing, including a prohibition against accepting interest or fees for loans.

Manhattan developer Sharif El-Gamal’s 2010 plan for a 15-story Islamic cultural center sparked protests from opponents who dubbed it the “Ground Zero Mosque,” although it was four blocks away.

He abandoned that plan in 2011 and there has been little apparent opposition to the smaller museum or the development itself.

The project now includes two multi-story penthouses on the top four floors along with a pool, gym and kids’ playroom.

The deal, finalized Tuesday, was funded by the London branch of Malayan Banking Berhad.

The project was designed by Michel Abboud of SOMA Architects, along with Ismael Leyva Architects, and will include a 2,821 square-foot public plaza, green space and a retail shop.

 

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