Con Ed Wants $1.7M From Park 51 Developer After New Appraisal

NEW YORK (1010 WINS/AP) – Only a month after its opening, the Park 51 Community Center is facing one of its first major hurdles.

Con Edison, which has been leasing the western half of the 51 Park Place building to the developer, is demanding $1.7 million from the developer after a new appraisal boosted rent to $47,000 a month from $2,700.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reports 

“The tenant currently owes a significant amount of rent retroactive to August 2008,” Con Edison spokesperson Alan Drury said. “The lease for the property called for the tenants to pay this money.”

Park 51 insists the increased rent on the portion of the property that is owned by Con Ed would cripple their ability to eventually complete the Islamic center. In response, Park 51 is taking the matter to court to block Con Ed’s attempt to collect the back rent.

Drury said Con Edison sent the tenant a notice of failure to pay the outstanding rent.

“Con Edison remains hopeful that it can reach an agreement with the tenant that is in the best interest with all parties,” Drury said.

In court papers, Park51 disputed the figure. The developer says Con Ed is using an incorrect formula to determine the rent and back payments owed. A spokesman declined to comment further when contacted via email.

A court date in connection to the dispute is scheduled for November.

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  • vv

    two towers and about 3000 poor souls

  • Big Nards

    Welcome to the US.

  • Occupy Park 51

    Sounds like 2700 bucks a month in that area of Manhattan is extremely low. 47,000 sounds more reasonable for that area and for such a large amount of space. Otherwise, I’d be willing to pay 2701 per month. Where do I sign up? I’m curious though, how much would it cost me to rent out space a block away from Mecca? I’d like to open up a Catholic church there. Oh, forgive me, I forgot that being a non-Muslim, I’m not permitted from even entering that city.

    • Sunset Annie

      Yes $2700 is unreal! I still can’t believe that figure! I hope they don’t find some loophole to slither through!

  • Kmali

    Its ironic just few days ago The Greek Orthodox church got ok to rebuild the destroyed church near grond zero. The only reason church got the settlement becuse they filed a lawsuit early this year, claiming that the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey “disavowed” the agreement in 2009 to rebuild the church near the original location at 155 Cedar Street. There is no problem becuase it’s not for Muslim, but it’s only a problem for Park 51 to build a mosque. People forget that hundreds of Muslims in downtown area were making daily prayer in that area for many many years before and after 9/11 in a congested area and now everyone having a problem for building a better Islamic center so they can practice their religion and non-muslim people will have a chance to get to know what is Islam is al about. 9/11 doesn’t represent Islam or Muslim. More people converted to Islam after 9/11 than ever, because people started researching about Muslim, Islam, and when they found out what is Islam is all about and what is the characterictics of a true Muslims. Those are against the mosque I will suggesgt learn about Islam and definitely you will chnage your mind and support this religious project too..

    • Anonymous User

      All I need to know about Islam and Muslims I learned on 9/11/2001.

  • cheick

    what is wrong with all you ppl? why do you hate islam so much?

    • vv

      two towers and approx 3000 poor souls

  • tuxey

    i would suggest that the developer build his mosque in a place he can afford…. if he can’t afford the 47,000/month rent (which, for that amount of space seems reasonable), then he can’t go ahead with his plans.

    i’m sure that there is no lack of other locations which would fit into his budget… UNLESS this really is about building a ‘victory mosque’, after all.



    • Sally Bailey

      Yes!! Remove them and send them home.

  • iggy

    $2700 a month rent? what is it, a studio apartment? this building is in manhattan.

  • iggy

    con ed wants allah the money quickly. sorry, had to do it.

  • Freedom of Religion

    Unfortunately this smacks of religious discrimination and attempt to force the mosque out by dramatically increasing the rent. Just read the posts above for the general ant-Muslim sentiment. However, this is America and we have laws to protect religious freedom. If I was the mosque director I would contact the U.S. Office for Civil Rights or the Department of Justice and ask for a full investigation.

    • Freedom of Religion

      Rugby: I don’t know why the rent was initially so low for the mosque to begin with — perhaps there was was a option to buy, etc. — but apparently $2,700 per month was the agreed upon rent between the Islamic Center and Con Edison. And if so, then an increase to $47,000 a month is a phenomenal rent hike. The 1968 Civil Rights Act protects against discrimination in the sale or rental of property based on race, religion, national origin or gender. The Civil Rights laws protect all of us. It wasn’t very long ago that African-Americans were excluded from predominately white neighborhood’s by redlining and charging higher rents and home prices…

    • Rugbyball

      They should contact US Office for civil rights, then they can do a rent survey and see that it costs about $2,300 a month to rent a 1,400 sqft one family house in Forest Hills, Queens, NYC and that $2,700 a month for a multi-story high rise building in down town Manhattan, NYC is a mistake, even at $47,000 a month it’s a steal. This isn’t discrimination it’s capitalism. Con Ed doesn’t care who they work with, they provide power to the Iran Embassy for instance, Con Ed only cares about the money, as in, show me the money! :-)

  • greg

    There will be lots of issues with this controversial building . that construction wasnt “blessed” by people’s will. Here it starts !

  • warrior-woman

    Anything that will prevent that mosque from opening is a good thing. But as usual Muslims are whining that they should not be bound by the same rules the rest of us have to play by. Sickening.

  • Pay your bills

    If that was the deal to pay the back rent then pay it.Just because the amount is not to your liking too bad.the regular people in New York do not get any breaks from Con Ed why should you.

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