By Julie Shapiro
LOWER MANHATTAN — Mayor Bloomberg said Tuesday that it was up to the Lower Manhattan Development Corp to decide whether the Park51 mosque and community center should receive federal 9/11 rebuilding funds.
The Islamic center’s developers recently applied for a $5 million grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. to help build their $100 million center and offer secular programs to the community.
"They should be given the chance to make their case," Bloomberg told reporters Tuesday.
"It’s up to the LMDC," added Bloomberg, who has been a staunch supporter of the Park51 developers’ right to build their center on Park Place two blocks from Ground Zero. "I don’t know what they’re asking for, what the standards are."
Park51 was one of 265 downtown cultural and community groups that applied for the $17 million in federal funding earlier this month. In all, the LMDC received over $175 million worth of requests.
A panel of LMDC board members will weigh the proposals and plans to make a decision by next March.