Ground Zero mosque to be moved to the West Village?
So says reports from the NY Post, where there is supposedly a plan by Saudi King Abdullah to move the controversial mosque from its present intended location to the shuttered St. Vincent’s Medical Center in the “tolerant” West Village. With the mosque no longer in the shadow of Ground Zero, who would object to this plan?
A Manhattan lawyer with ties to the Saudi royal family is sounding out officials and community leaders about a plan to move the controversial Ground Zero mosque to the West Village.
Attorney Dudley Gaffin is claiming King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia might want to buy shuttered St. Vincent’s Medical Center and transfer the mosque to a new Islamic cultural center he would build on a plot at the site, say sources who have heard Gaffin’s pitch.
The king, worth more than $20 billion, would also save the hospital, reopening most of the units that closed when St. Vincent’s filed for bankruptcy on April 14, the sources said.
They say that Gaffin, who heads his own firm in lower Manhattan, is floating the idea to gauge what the reaction might be — and to ready a bid to rival the Rudin Organization, which is trying to snap up St. Vincent’s in bankruptcy court with an eye on tearing down six hospital buildings for luxury housing.
According to reports, this plan has been relayed to Mayor Bloomberg; however, a spokesperson for the mayor denies it.
Sources said Gaffin claimed to have broached the topic with Mayor Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, but reps for both denied it.
“No one here has heard of this,” said Bloomberg spokesman Marc LaVorgna.