So, just when will it get built? Only Allah knowsBy TOM TOPOUSIS
New York Post
August 4, 2010
The Ground Zero mosque is years away from opening.
The ambitious proposal calls for building a 13-story tower at the site, with an estimated price tag of more than $100 million. But so far, the group backing it has yet to raise any money, hasn't developed a building plan or chosen an architect, and isn't even registered as tax-exempt.
Tony Sclafani, a spokesman for the Buildings Department, said the city has yet to receive any plans for 45-47 Park Place, a former Burlington Coat Factory building where the mosque and community center to be called Park 51 is proposed.
And the city has not even received an application to demolish the pair of existing buildings.
Sharif El-Gamal, whose SoHo Properties purchased the site in 2009 for the mosque, yesterday said he was "deeply grateful to the Landmarks Commission and to its staff," which cleared the way for Park 51.
The driving force behind the mosque, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, has said the money would come from Muslims here, foundations and bonds sales. But he told a London paper that Muslim nations would also fund the project.
Funding has been one of the major concerns by opponents, who fear the project just two blocks from Ground Zero could wind up being paid for by nations making a defiant political statement.
"We must focus our efforts on obtaining a full investigation of the $100 million mosque," Rep. Peter King (R-LI) said. "Who is giving the money? Where is it coming from?"