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      Developer of proposed mosque near Ground Zero purchases new property

      The developer of a proposed mosque and community center near ground zero has purchased a neighboring property.

      Sharif El-Gamal's lawyer says the developer signed a $7 million mortgage for the five-story building on Park Place. It's adjacent to the 15-story building he has proposed developing into a religious and cultural center.

      The properties are about three blocks from the World Trade Center site. When plans for the center were first announced several years ago, opponents protested that putting a Muslim facility near ground zero showed disrespect.

      The story of the new property was first reported on the real estate blog The Real Deal.

      According to The New York Times El-Gamal's lawyer said his client had no specific plan for the new building.