Trump Offers to Buy Proposed NYC Islamic Center Site
September 9th, 2010
Donald J. Trump offered to purchase the site of the proposed Islamic community center near New York City’s Ground Zero for the price paid plus 25 percent.
As part of the bid, any community center built would be located at least five blocks farther from the World Trade Center site, Trump said. The offer was made in a letter dated today and included in a statement received by e-mail.
“I am making this offer as a resident of New York and citizen of the United States, not because I think the location is a spectacular one (because it is not), but because it will end a very serious, inflammatory, and highly divisive situation,” Trump wrote in the letter to Hisham Elzanaty, a businessman who’s said he provided the majority of the financing for the two buildings where the center would be built.
Elzanaty didn’t immediately respond to a telephone message for comment.
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, chairman of the Cordoba Initiative, the center’s sponsor, didn’t respond immediately to an e-mail seeking comment.
New York City records show the property at 45 Park Place sold for $4.85 million in July 2009. Elzanaty said his partnership already has received offers of three times that much for that parcel, according to an Associated Press story earlier today.
“Develop it, raze it, sell it,” he said. “If someone wants to give me 18 or 20 million dollars today, it’s all theirs.”