Sharif El-Gamal, CEO of real estate developer Soho Properties, announced today that his company acquired 49-51 Park Place from Consolidated Edison for $10.7 million. He also confirmed that none other than Pritzker Prize-winning starchitect Jean Nouvel will be designing the site’s three-story Islam museum and prayer space.
Con-Ed had a long-term ground lease on the Park Place. In 2009, Soho Properties shelled out $700,000 to assume control of this lease, but two years later Con-Ed sued the company, claiming they owed $1.7 million in back rent. The site was also met with hostility in 2010 when the developer proposed building the 15-story, $140 million “Ground Zero mosque,” which garnered the very public opposition of Rudolph Giuliani and Newt Gingrich. Though Mayor Bloomberg fully supported the project, it never materialized due to financing.
Now, Soho Properties has full control of the site and is also building a 39-story luxury condo tower next door at 45 Park Place. The choice to hire Nouvel is not surprising, as his Arab World Institute in Paris has received international praise. Do you think he’ll be met with the same acclaim for Lower Manhattan’s Islam museum?
[Via The Real Deal]
Lead image courtesy of Wiki Commons
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