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There goes the neighborhood

I haven't touched much on the controversy regarding a mosque being built by the Islamic Society of Boston for several reasons. A lot of folks have looked into the details of the deal, and reported them -- and ended up getting sued by the ISB. At least one Boston newspaper and one Boston TV station are facing lawsuits right now over the matter. The stories from this Google search give some pretty good details -- especially those from Robert Spencer's Jihad Watch.

But this story from this morning's Boston Herald brought up one element of the story that has me a bit worried.

People tend to worry about the value of their homes. "Bringing down property values" is the rallying cry of zoning laws and the like, when folks use the legal system to force their neighbors to be good neighbors, keep up their property, and so on.

The land the ISB wants to build their mosque on was bought from the city of Boston in a deal that, by any standard, was a great one. Initially, it was assessed at $2,000,000. (Boston real estate prices are very high, even when it is taken into account that it's in BOSTON, which is in (shudder) MASSACHUSETTS.) Then, when the deal was being finalized four months later, the selling agency pegged the value at a smidgen over $400,000. The final sales price was $175,000, plus a "public benefits package" to be provided to the community by the ISB.

Complicating things is an appraisal by the United Bank of Kuwait, which is handling the financing of the mosque. They officially listed the lot's value at $480,000.

The lesson here seems to be that if someone wants to build a mosque in your neighborhood, you can expect the value of your property to take a huge hit. Here, the value of one lot dropped by about 80% in four months after it was announced that it would be used to build a mosque. Then, to add insult to injury, the final selling price was less than half that.


Comments (6)

Why is it OK for government... (Below threshold)
Rick13:

Why is it OK for government property to be sold for use as a mosque, but not OK for it to be donated for use as a Korean War Memorial?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A21598-2005Mar9.html#

Another question this raise... (Below threshold)
scsiwuzzy:

Another question this raises for me:\
What would happen if a new church or synagogue is looking to build in Boston? Are they given such considerations?

My guess is that the value ... (Below threshold)
Bradley:

My guess is that the value didn't go down because of the mosque, it went down due to some shady back door dealings with local politicians.

Islam is not just another r... (Below threshold)

Islam is not just another religion, entitled to the deference due to other religions. It is a religion which requires the murder of Christians and Jews. That's why it is foolish to permit the construction of any mosque anywhere in the USA.

I'm with Bradley on this on... (Below threshold)

I'm with Bradley on this one. Why assume the property values are plummeting, when you can just as easily assume government incompetence and corruption?

Plummetting property values are a guess, and it's unclear whether that's the cause. But incompetent, corrupt government is a known quantity: especially in Massachusetts...

Bradley, Brad: because assu... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Bradley, Brad: because assuming what you assume can get me sued. The ISB has a rather nasty habit of suing those who make those kinds of observations.

J.




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