Sep 5 2010
Let’s see, in a depressed market, a building owner would turn down $18 million and sell the building for $4.8 million? Something smells here.
NY POST The original owners of the Ground Zero mosque site mysteriously spurned dozens of higher bids before selling the prime downtown real estate at a bargain-basement price.
The Pomerantz family, which had owned the building since the late 1960s and fielded offers after the patriarch died in 2006, rejected at least one bid that was nearly four times what prospective mosque builder Sharif El-Gamal eventually paid, The Post has learned.
El-Gamal did offer what could be viewed as a sweetener to his $4.8 million bid in July 2009 — a job as a property manager for a son of the family, Sethian Pomerantz.
New York developer Kevin Glodek was livid when he found out the building sold for a fraction of what he offered in 2007 — $18 million cash — and wondered whether money changed hands under the table, according to sources close to the deal.
Glodek and his partners wanted to build a 60-story condo tower with retail space on the Park Place site, had inked a purchase agreement and even had keys to the existing building, according to sources and documents obtained by The Post.
But Kukiko Mitani — whose late husband, Stephen Pomerantz, owned the property — and her brother-in-law, Melvin Pomerantz, a trustee to the estate, went silent at the end of 2007 and Glodek’s deal disappeared, sources said.
He was not alone in his interest, with some 30 offers showered on the Pomerantz family in 2007, according to a source familiar with the negotiations.Some of the offers were a mere flash in the pan, but others were legitimate, including a $17 million cash deal from one developer, the source said.