Progress Report: Assafa Islamic Center at 172 Eldridge

Posted on: August 17th, 2010 at 6:12 am by

Construction of the new Assafa Islamic Center at 172 Eldridge Street is straddling the proverbial speed bump. From the outset, the fourteen-year-old institution has had plenty of problems with the new facility, including subtle run-ins with the DOB, some stop work orders, and numerous complaints for after-hours construction. But now the issue is funding.

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The groundbreaking and earth-moving first began at the project site last year, but any semblance of progress has been painfully slow.  Their main obstacle was the destabilization of the neighboring buildings. Stop work orders were quickly levied, which also hindered further construction.  And while there has been a relative uptick in activity in recent weeks, we just learned that funding for the Islamic center is almost completely depleted. At this point, only three of the six stories are now built.

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The following is a passage from their “urgent appeal for donation”:

…the most difficult of the new project, the foundation, has been completed despite numerous complaints and obstructions against the house of Allah.  In addition, the first three floors has been built and construction is in progress for the remaining.  The main water, sewer, and sprinkler line has been brought into the building.  We plan to complete the structure of all six floors including installation of doors and windows as it will provide safety and protections.  Then we will proceed to complete all interior work.  We have given 30% of the contracted amount, $1.85 million, to the contractors which is now insufficient to continue further work and require additional $1 million to proceed further with the construction of the Masjid project.

Floor plans are as follows:

Basement: multi-purpose usage
First Floor: main prayer area, offices, gift shop
Second Floor: men’s prayer area and bathroom
Third Floor: women’s prayer area
Fourth and Fifth Floors: NYS Board of Education compliant Islamic school
Sixth Floor: housing facility, research library, conference room

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However, until the new mosque is completed, the muslim community will continue to pray in its basement HQ at 172 Allen Street.

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