Con Ed is seeking to lift a court order preventing the company from evicting the developer of the controversial Ground Zero Mosque, Sharif El-Gamal, for neglecting to pay his rent.
At a hearing in Manhattan Supreme Court, Con Ed lawyer Scott Mollen had portrayed el-Gamal as an individual who mismanages his money and refuses to pay up. They're $1.7 million in arrears, and they have not come close to demonstrating they have the ability to pay the rent on 51 Park Place, according to the New York Post. El-Gamal allegedly owes $230,000 in real restate taxes and nearly $30,000 on a power bill.
Mollen asked the court to rescind the restraining order preventing Con Ed from removing Gamal from their site. Con Ed says that he owes a significant amount of rent going back to August 2008.
Under the terms of the lease, Con Edison requested payment of outstanding rent, but to date, tenant has not yet made the required payment, Con Ed told the IBTimes in an e-mail. Con Edison sent tenant a notice of its failure to pay the outstanding rent, and the tenant has commenced litigation disputing the amount of rent owed. Con Edison remains hopeful that it can reach an agreement with the tenant that is in the best interests of all parties.
El-Gamal has about 400 violations open on his buildings uptown as well. He owes the city over $60,000 in unpaid violations and taxes on his uptown property. Tenants of his building claim that it is infested with rodents and bugs. They claim he ignored many complaints and did not appropriately fulfill his duties as a property owner, according to the New York Post.