LandlordsNY, sadly not a Gotham tribute to wonderful members of the Happy Flowers family tree, but instead a property owners/managers organization, has been forced to ditch plans for a symposium at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. The venue pulled the plug after learning public protests were planned over the event’s chosen keynote speaker…who just happens to be the guy who built the building. From The Real Deal’s Katherine Clarke :
“Barclays Center has called to let us know they can no longer host our event due to threats by one or two tenant related groups protesting Mr. Bruce Ratner, whom was slated to be our keynote speaker,” said J’Nell Simmons, executive director of LandlordsNY, in the note. “They are concerned of the negative press it will bring them and Mr. Ratner, and thus feel they can no longer host the property management symposium.”
Tenant groups including the Fifth Avenue Committee, Make the Road and Met Council on Housing were slated to protest outside the Barclay’s Center on the day of the event, Fifth Avenue Committee director of organizing and advocacy Jackie Del Valle told The Real Deal.
“The building of [Atlantic Yards] has caused extreme displacement and rising rents in the neighborhoods around it,” Del Valle said. “There’s been a ton of public money given to this but no government oversight and the promised affordable housing has not been built.”
“He’s going to be teaching best practices when it seems like the best practices have been going into communities, pushing out long-term tenants and building luxury condos? New York City has become like the homeless capital of the world in the last few years and we needed to get out the word that tenants aren’t happy. We needed to school landlords on these facts of displacement.”