October 5, By Christian Murray
A Queens-focused real estate conference that took place in Long Island City this morning drew dozens of bankers and brokers—but also several anti-development protesters.
The event, held at Gantry Loft, was organized by QNS and included a number of panelists who were there to discuss the opportunities that are available within the borough’s residential, commercial and industrial real estate market.
The event, which cost $95 a ticket, included speakers such as Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and council members Jimmy Van Bramer and Elizabeth Crowley.
The event was going as planned until one of the speakers was interrupted by the leader of a group called “Queens is Not for Sale.” The group claims that existing residents are being displaced by rapid development.
“We are here today because we represent the people of Queens that the Mayor’s affordable housing plan has left out,” the protester said. “We are domestic workers, fast food workers, taxi drivers, day laborers, seniors, among others.”
“Queens is being billed as the ‘new frontier,’” she said, adding that this ‘new frontier’ has been our home for many years. “This is about displacement.”
The protester was escorted out of the building and was joined by about 30 activists on Borden Avenue who were holding “Queens is Not for Sale” signs, who were also yelling out that message.
Ziggy Mintz, one of the protesters, said “the future of our neighborhoods are not being determined by the community but by the developers.”