Developer moves to demolish ‘Ground Zero mosque’

Demonstrators who support and oppose a proposed Muslim cultural center and mosque Park51 stand with signs in front of the site in New York August 25, 2010. Credit: Reuters
Demonstrators who support and oppose a proposed Muslim cultural center and mosque Park51 stand with signs in front of the site in New York August 25, 2010. Credit: Reuters

A New York City real estate developer has filed plans to raze the “Ground Zero mosque,” a structure housing an Islamic community center just two blocks from the site of the September 11, 2001, attacks, city officials said Tuesday.

The Islamic center and prayer space opened in 2011 amid protests that it could become a shrine to the Islamic extremists responsible for the deadly attacks on the World Trade Center.

The New York City Department of Buildings said on Tuesday it was reviewing an application from the developer to demolish the four-story building and an adjacent property in lower Manhattan, possibly to build a new, larger structure.

Sharif El-Gamal of Soho Properties has said he eventually planned to construct a $100 million, 13-story Islamic community center on the site, complete with prayer space, recreational facilities and interfaith workshops.

But Hank Sheinkopf, spokesman for the developer, would not confirm on Tuesday that the request to demolish the existing buildings was a step towards constructing the larger project.

He told Reuters that plans for the site’s development “will be answered in the future.”

He also would not say where the current Islamic prayer space would be relocated, should the applications to raze the building be granted.

The location of the so-called “Ground Zero mosque” spurred months of protests, with opponents saying it was disrespectful to the nearly 3,000 people killed when two airliners hijacked by extremists destroyed two Manhattan skyscrapers.

Supporters of the project said it would serve to promote a better understanding of the Muslim-American community and its history in New York City.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Federal mediator joins Met Opera labor talks as…

Unions representing the orchestra and chorus of the Met Opera agreed to have a federal mediator join labor talks on Thursday as a threatened lockout loomed.

Local

Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.

Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

Movies

Review: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is a refreshingly…

Marvel is sitting so high on a cash mountain that it's now thrown $170 million at the relatively obscure and very silly title "Guardians of the Galaxy."

Movies

Review: 'Get on Up' is a war between…

James Brown finally gets his own boring biopic with "Get on Up," but the Godfather of Soul puts up a good fight against the usual cliches.

Movies

Review: 'Child of God' finds director James Franco…

James Franco's 11th directed feature is a noble but sloppy adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's "Child of God," about a feral mountain man (Scott Haze).

Movies

Review: Alex Gibney's Fela Kuti doc 'Finding Fela'…

Prolific documentarian Alex Gibney takes on Afrobeat god Fela Kuti in "Finding Fela," but fails to capture his unique essence.

MLB

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade…

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade deadline

College

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

Career

What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.

Style

Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.

Style

Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.

Wellbeing

Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…