Angry East Flatbush protesters gathered Saturday to throw cold water on the construction of what they fear is a new hot-sheets motel.
Roughly 30 demonstrators expressed their opposition to the building as heavy equipment operated on the site in a barren Brooklyn stretch unlikely to attract many out-of-towners.
“Tourists?” asked a disbelieving Roy McKenzie, president of the East 59th Street Block Association. “Oh Lord God, help us. … Here we go again. Another whorehouse.”
McKenzie and the rest wondered why the neighborhood, in dire need of affordable housing and a grocery store, will instead get a hotel approved only two months before construction began.
“They poured concrete, and when they were almost finished — guess what? They finally had the permit,” said protester Gerard Brewster. “That’s not the way it’s supposed to work.”
Local state Assembly member Helene Weinstein, the longtime neighborhood representative, expressed skepticism about the new building on Kings Highway off Foster Ave.
“In my 30-plus years of representing this community, not a soul has come to me to say, ‘We need a hotel,’” said Weinstein. “There is no reason, no legitimate reason that we can think of, that people would want to come stay at a hotel right here.”
McKenzie noted the desolate industrial area is home to a scrap yard, several auto body shops and storage facilities – hardly an attraction like the Statue of Liberty or the Brooklyn Museum.
“You tell me how a tourist is going to come here,” he said. “They come outside, they look: ‘Oh, a gas station. Where am I going to eat?’”
The property owner was listed as Nassau County-based Kings Hwy NY LLC. A call for comment on the demonstration was not returned Saturday.
City Council member Jumanne Williams, who represents the neighborhood, suggested the fight against the hotel was just in round one.
“We’re going to do everything we can without our legal limits to put as much pressure on this establishment as possible,” he said.