Sunday, October 16, 2011
Con Ed Demand Ground Zero Mosque Back Rent or Eviction
Since the Ground Zero Mosque isn't welcome in the area, there are more ways to skin a cat. Raising the rent and demanding back rent, Con Ed was able to deter Park 51 from building that 15-story community center. I wonder if Park 51 will cry racism.
(NY Post) — Con Ed has given the Ground Zero mosque an ultimatum: Pay the $1.7 million you owe in back rent, or we’ll terminate your lease and take back our property.
Con Ed and mosque developer Park51 have an unusual, uneasy alliance, sharing ownership of a site slated to be one of the most controversial projects in city history.
The utility 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.
Park51, which leases the substation from Con Ed, wants the two buildings so it can knock both down and build a $100 million, 15-story community center.
But the plan hit a major obstacle in August when 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 Post has learned.
When the mosque failed to fork over the $1.7 million, the utility fired off a letter demanding the money by Oct. 4 and threatening to evict.
Park51 principals responded with a lawsuit to stop the increase, calling Con Ed’s rent demands “outrageous.”