Park51 Can’t Be Evicted Yet

The building which is poised to house the Cordoba Initiative Mosque and Cultural Center on August 16, 2010 in New York, New York.
Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A Manhattan judge has granted an injunction that says Consolidated Edison cannot evict the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” developers from 51 Park Place, for now. Con Ed, which owns the building, tried to raise the tenant’s rent to $47,437 a month from $2,750, retroactive to July 31, 2008, leading Park51 to float the idea that the owner “may be bowing to unspecified political pressure.” While the judge ruled that the lease cannot yet be broken for the $1.7 million owed, he did say that Park51 must pay $25,875 in rent moving forward as opposed to the $12,000 they’ve been paying. The Park51 developer claims he can mortgage a building he owns nearby to make up the cost, while Con Ed said plainly today of the ruling, “This is another step in the legal process,” and added, “We have been among the many parties that have defended the tenant’s right to buy the property and develop it.”