Sharif El-Gamal, once actively involved in trying to build a mosque and
Islamic Center via the Park 51 project, very near the site of the World Trade Towers, now plans to tear down a building in the Garment District, with an 83-year-old synagogue on the bottom floor, a building of three levels — and rebuild it — creating a 23-story building with retail space and a hotel. The mosque has been in the current location since 1965. Albert A. List bought the building and gave the synagogue a 99-year-lease for $1 per year. That $1 lease will continue. The developers reached an agreement with the synagogue, and contributed a “donation” of an undisclosed amount. What keeps developers from deciding a mosque might be appropriate on one of the upper floors? Does it matter?
They plan to close on the deal, which envisions a 20- to 23-story building with three floors of retail at the bottom and a hotel on top with 250 to 260 rooms, by early March.
But the synagogue held the high cards in negotiations with developers, since it had a long-term lease for $1 a year; the lease specified that the synagogue would have to relocate temporarily in 2017 if the building had to be demolished.
The Garment Center Synagogue, which formed in 1931, was rooted in an era when the garment district was a manufacturing behemoth, producing much of the country’s clothing. Source: NY Times
The new synagogue and building is located at 205 West 40th Street. Read more about Sharif El-Gamal’s shady background here. Do New Yorkers really want this guy building very near Times Square? Maybe they do. They elected Bill de Blasio to Mayor’s Office.
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