Real estate magnate Donald Trump offered to buy out a major investor in the real estate group that controls the site of the proposed ‘ground zero’ mosque.
Trump’s publicist released a letter today saying that Donald Trump offered investor Hisham Elzanaty 25% more than the price he paid for his stake in the property. The offer came with one condition. That the backers of the mosque project not build any new mosque within five blocks of the site of where the World Trade Center once stood.
In the letter, Trump said he was “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 that is destined, in my opinion, to only get worse.”
Elzanaty’s lawyer, Wolodymyr Starosolsky, referred to Trump’s offer as “a cheap attempt to get publicity.” The offer was turned down immediately.
The property is owned and controlled by an 8 member investment group called SoHo Properties. It’s not publicly known just how much control Elzanaty has within the group. Earlier this week he told the AP that he invested with the intention of making a profit and would consider having half the land used for private development, or even all the land, if the mosque deal falls through.