The New York Post website reports today (October 16, 2011) that New York utility Con Ed(ison) has given the Ground Zero mosque an ultimatum: Pay the $1.7 million you owe in back rent, or we will terminate your lease and take back our property.
Con Ed owns a former substation on the western half of the property, at 51 Park Place, and mosque developers own a five-story building on the eastern half.
Park 51 -- which leases the substation from Con Ed -- wants the two buildings, so it can knock both down and build a $100 million, 15-story community center.
In August 2011, Con Ed raised the rent from $2,750 a month -- a rate set in 1972 -- to $47,437 a month, retroactive to July 31, 2008. When the mosque failed to pay $1.7 million, the utility sent it a letter demanding the money by October 4 or being evicted.
A court hearing has been set on the matter for November 17, 2011.