Sharif El-Gamal has finally filed plans for Park51, the Islamic cultural center the 45 Park Place developer has been hoping to bring to the Financial District since at least 2010. The developer filed plans for a two-story building with sub-level sanctuary space and non-commercial art gallery space at the site between West Broadway and Church Street, neighboring the firm’s high-end condo that’s now on the rise.
The filings, first spotted by Real Estate Weekly, show that El-Gamal has significantly scaled back his vision for the sanctuary and cultural center. When El-Gamal first pitched the plan to the Landmarks Preservation Commission in 2010, the building was poised to stand 15 stories. (The building that formerly occupied the site was tabled for landmarks consideration, hence the LPC’s involvement.)
The structure was most recently scaled back in May to three stories per an interview with El-Gamal in the New York Times. “I didn’t give up on the original vision,” the developer told the paper, saying that he might look into bringing the facility to a different location within the city.
But it looks like the strong-minded developer is pushing on at the site; plans filed with the Department of Buildings indicate that the structure, if approved, will stand just two stories tall and measure some 16,000 square feet.
The filings make no mention of architect Jean Nouvel, who has been a major point of interest regarding the project since his involvement was announced in 2014. However, a project spokesperson confirmed to Curbed that Nouvel is, indeed, still onboard.