Marlowe's Shade

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Hearing on Land Deal to Mosque

On Oct. 5, the Boston City Council called for an investigation into why an Islamic group that is planning to build a $22 million mosque in Roxbury, not far from Roxbury Community College, was allowed to buy almost two acres of city-owned parcels of land for a bargain price of $175,000.

The City Council Post Audit and Oversight Committee plans to hold a hearing on the sale of the land on Malcolm X Boulevard to the Islamic Society of Boston.

Asked City Councilor Jerry McDermott, "Why was the property sold for below what it could have fetched on the open marked? If they can build a mosque for $22 million, why do they need to buy the property at a discount?"

Two good questions from the district councilor representing Allston and Brighton. The BRA reportedly valued the land at $401,000, but with the mayor's apparent backing allowed the Cambridge-based Muslim group to get the land at a great discount. The group was asked to provide benefits, including a college lecture series and the sprucing up of two nearby parks.

Meanwhile, the Boston Globe, which seems to have been ignoring the story finally had this piece:

The Boston Globe's Adrian Walker, meanwhile, in an Oct. 7 column titled "Probe is fishing trip," wrote that Kelly and McDermott were members of a body "that obviously has too little to do."
papijoe 1:34 PM