CA: SIGNAL HILL TO BE NEW MOSQUE SITE
The Long Beach Islamic Center has finally found a home in Signal Hill.
Since the religious group formed in 2004, it has not had a permanent location, only an office on Long Beach Boulevard.
"Sometimes we hold prayer and service in different locations like people's homes because we don't have a center right now," said Tarek Mohamed, chairman of the center's board. Mohamed is also listed as the group's imam, or leader, in a community religious directory.
Despite the lack of a physical worship site, the center has been growing. It began with 10 members and has since risen to 25 members, and with the growth, a permanent mosque became more of a necessity, Mohamed said.
During the search, the center's board found that its options were limited for budget reasons.
Mohamed said some locations that they considered in Long Beach cost as much as $2 million to $3 million.
"We cannot afford that, we don't have that money," Mohamed said.
In November 2004, the group bought a 13,500-square-foot vacant lot for $169,000 at 995 27th St. in Signal Hill.
A conditional use permit for the center was approved at Signal Hill's City Council meeting on June 12.
The group plans to build a 2,025-square-foot, one-story mosque and a parking lot.
"We are very excited, and we really appreciate the city of Signal Hill for welcoming us," Mohamed said.