September 10th, 2010
03:08 PM ET

Trump's offer for Islamic center site called a 'pathetic' PR attempt

CNN Wire Staff

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/09/09/new.york.trump.community.center/story.donald.trump.gi.jpg caption="Donald Trump said he wants to buy the space 'because it will end a ... highly divisive situation.'" width=300 height=169]

New York (CNN) - New York (CNN) - Donald Trump's offer to buy the lower Manhattan site where a Muslim group plans to build an Islamic community center is just a "pathetic" attempt to get publicity, said the lawyer for one of the land owners.

Real estate mogul Trump made the offer Thursday in a letter to Hisham Elzanaty, an investor in the controversial Islamic center site. But Elzanaty does not consider Trump's proposal a real offer, attorney Wolodymyr Starosolsky said Thursday night.

Elzanaty has received other offers, but has declined them, the lawyer said. Elzanaty thinks the property might be worth more down the road, so he might hold on to it. Trump had offered 25 percent more than the current owners paid for it.

Elzanaty owns more than 51 percent of the property, and has no more than three partners, the lawyer said.

But another owner, developer Sharif El-Gamal, disputes that Elzanaty owns controlling interest in the project and says Elzanaty could not sell to Trump even if he took the offer seriously.

CNN could not confirm stories from either side and it is unclear who holds controlling interest of the project.

Trump's offer stipulated that, if a mosque is to be built, it will be located at least five blocks further from the World Trade Center site. He also said he would pay cash for the site, with an immediate closing.

Full story

Updated 9/11/10, 12:20 p.m.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Islam
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    If Trump's offer to buy the sight is thought to be a "PR stunt" then why didn't Pastor Jones offer to buy it instead of pulling a "PR stunt".

    September 11, 2010 at 12:16 pm |
  2. Mohamed

    We heard from just about everbody except the Imam or his people.

    Did the media not think of that, or does it just want to put words in his mouth?

    September 11, 2010 at 1:35 am |
  3. grant

    The Islamic center will never be built if the trades boycot construction!

    September 11, 2010 at 12:22 am |
  4. what

    donald donald donald. You have sunk so low. Anyone in their right mind can see right through you. Your sad.

    September 10, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
  5. Annie Kate

    I doubt Trump needs the publicity especially at the price he is offering to pay for the Muslim center. I think Trump is making a bona fide offer that the Iman should consider; a cash offer these days is rare especially of this magnitude. And I think Trump is sincere in his effort to try to end this horrible situation. My hat is off to Donald Trump....on this situation he rocks!

    September 10, 2010 at 10:11 pm |

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