Oct. 9, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
Several neighborhood groups are joining forces with more than 50 city-wide organizations Saturday to protest rampant real estate development.
The event, dubbed the “Rally For Our Neighborhoods,” is taking place at the steps of City Hall and includes groups like the Hunters Point Civic Association, the LIC Coalition, the Court Square Civic Association, and others from neighboring communities all working to denounce bad city planning, the influence of the big real estate lobby, and displacement.
The lead organizers, Human-Scale NYC, say the rally will focus on themes like ending the “affordable housing scam,” denouncing the city’s use of public assets for private development, and calling for reforms to make the city more equitable and free from the influence of money.
“It is time for a real affordable housing policy and to protect local residents, libraries, gardens, NYCHA, historic buildings, and playgrounds from the real estate machine,” wrote Human-Scale NYC.
The rally’s sheer size, the group said, is indicative of all the neighborhood battles that are taking place around the city.
“We originally thought it would be a workable event if we had just 20 co-sponsors,” said Lynn Ellsworth, a Human-Scale NYC board member. “It grew to the size quite organically.”
The participating Long Island City groups have all rallied and fought around overdevelopment and other themes, and have stepped up efforts in light of several large projects and developments in the neighborhood.
The Court Square Civic Association, for instance, recently rallied for more open space in the neighborhood. While open space has been a concern for the group since its founding, the topic has taken center stage because of a city deal to transfer its air rights from under the Queensboro Bridge ramps—lots the community has demanded to become open space—to adjacent private developers in Court Square.
The group, like other opponents, says the plan only adds density to the neighborhood and ignores demands made by the community to turn the lots under the Queensboro Bridge to green spaces for the public.
“We’re a community that’s hurting…we’re increasing the density of the neighborhood and adding more strain with no added immediate benefit to us,” said Pedro Gomez, CSCA President, at a prior community board meeting on the issue.
The LIC Coalition, meanwhile, recently helped organize a workshop series aimed at informing residents on the number of ongoing and future projects in the neighborhood, with a focus on environmental sustainability.
“It’s at a crisis point,” said Tom Paino, a member of the LIC Coalition, to the LIC Post in August. “The ultimate goal is to get a comprehensive plan for what are now all these overlapping, piece-meal, huge projects.”
The group was also instrumental in getting local leaders to denounce the city’s 44th Drive project as envisioned, and continues to call for an overhaul of the plan.
The Hunters Point Civic Association has also called for quality of life improvements in the neighborhood that all trace back to responsible development, like street improvements and the need for a recreational center in an ever-growing residential area.
Other participating area groups include Queens Streets For All, which has opposed the DOT’s roadway redesign in Sunnyside, the Justice for All Coalition, and the Sunnyside Gardens Preservation Alliance.
The rally will take place at the steps of City Hall, located at City Hall Park between Broadway and Park Row, on Oct. 13 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., rain or shine.
How many of these protesters own one or more million dollar properties and are in large part motivated to keep the values of their properties up by trying to keep the supply low? Anybody know?
I know the answer! Sadly, you are one of those YIMBY types who clearly influenced by the bogus theories related to the “homevoter” hypothesis. That hypothesis does not have enough empirical credibility to bother with. It is based on an college student’s Econ 101 understanding of economics. As real economists know, “the invisible hand is invisible because it is not there.”
I don’t understand the fuss. Surely we need more dry-cleaners on the ground floor of new residential high rises, and consequently more high rises. How else are we going to get the smell of success out of our tighty-whiteys?
Alternate title: “Property owners rally to limit supply of housing in neighborhood” I don’t know why anyone reports on this or why we should take them seriously.
Uhmm, they’re only protesting NOW? LMAO
What are you going to do regarding stopping the proposed apartment building being built above the Fresh N Save on Skillman Avenue?
You owe it our neighborhood to stop this project.
I guess he is not getting enough MONEY in his pockets he wants more and more.
This will just push them to really overdevelop the area, maybe with Sunnyside Yards, because they’ll promise more “affordable” housing. The same old story that doesn’t change. You’ve got to get into these people’s (politicians) pockets the way the developers do.
That hypocrite Jimmy Van Bramer at this rally??? It’s been under his watch that LIC has been converted into a welfare hotel homeless holding facility and been overbuilt. He is aware of all the new small hotels converted to homeless facilities and the unaffordable housing which has been built under his watch. We the constituency of CB2 supported this clown? How can he support the people that reside in CB2 when he continues to take money from the same developers who are overbuilding and the not for profit operators who have leased these hotels in our neighborhood to house parolees released from upstate prisons in the local homeless hotel shelters in our neighborhood. When Phipps organization wanted to build affordable housing on Barnett St parking lot used by steve madden workers he opposed it since it was on his side of the Blvd near his home in the gardens. I hope he goes down with the Mayor and others being investigated in an ongoing Federal corruption probe.
I have been saying for a LONG TIME now, BUILDING WITHOUT PLANNING does not work. I am glad many people see it the way I do.
The fake MRLIC wrote this comment. I love Trump and other billionaire developers.
Yes over development for housing for ppl but what about the ppl in the hotels being used as shelters. Why dont u build affordable housing for them or a halfway house till they are found suitible places to live stop increasing building development for ppl who cant afford to live there n make it for ppl who need it.
If we want more equality, we need more housing.
It’s ironic that people who think themselves to be socially liberal are the ones most keen on keeping other people out. https://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/youre-not-a-progressive-if-youre-also-a-nimby/Content?oid=13674523
Someone tell these NIMBYs to pipe down.
I personally love rampant real estate development, like the kind that Trump does. That’s why I voted for him.
Sure he stole millions of dollars from NY with despicable tax fraud, surrounds himself with federal criminals and gives massive tax breaks to other filthy rich developers, but at least I know that a soulless celebrity billionaire developer will always look out for the little guy.
Your schtick is old. Give it up already.
Not true—you’ve never seen my schtick!