Dozens of demonstrators gathered yesterday next to the future site of a 56-story luxury development being built on the Lower East Side, protesting against gentrification and demanding more affordable housing.

"Anti-displacement is what we need, say hell no to Extell's greed!" the demonstrators shouted. Extell Corporation, the developer behind the One57 building on "Billionaire's Row" in Midtown, is constructing the luxury tower at 227 Cherry Street, the former site of the Pathmark supermarket near the base of the Manhattan Bridge and across the street from NYCHA's La Guardia Houses.

Local residents attending the protest said that Pathmark's closure in 2012 and the subsequent new development marked the end of affordable housing in this quadrant of the Lower East Side.

"I'm tired of the drastic changes that are affecting my community. People can't afford where they live. People can't afford food where they live. There's a lot of seniors out here who live on a very low fixed income and it's so sad that the people here can't buy," Yvette Mercedes told us. "I don't recognize my community anymore."

One 90-year-old man pushed his wheelchair up to the front of the demonstration to make a plea: "Please don't destroy our surroundings and let me live a few more years in peace and happiness."

Extell's new tower will house 646 market rate units and amenities like multiple swimming pools, a bowling alley, golf simulator, and a Turkish bath.

The site will also host a significantly smaller 13-floor complex off to the side with 205 affordable units.

Wendy Chung of the Chinese Staff and Workers Association blames current development and zoning trends that disproportionately affect minority neighborhoods.

"We've seen tremendous displacement in our lower income and people of color communities. The city insists that there would be no impact on our community and public housing would not be affected. Do they think we are blind?" She continues, "We are being treated like second class citizens in our own community. This is racism."

Another advocate, Alicia Boyd, said that the mayor's current 80/20 inclusionary zoning plan does not sufficiently provide for enough affordable housing for lower income residents.

"We don't need more luxury development—20% that's affordable to us and give us 80% luxury, who are they kidding? That's a scam!"

The rally's organizers are pushing for a community based-zoning plan like the one put forward by the Chinatown Working Group which calls for 55% low income housing in new developments and a rezoning of the East River waterfront, where Extell's tower will be located.

However, City Hall recently rejected the proposal and change seems unlikely.

The Extell Corporation did not return any of our requests for comment.

"There is a tide and the tide is changing," Boyd said, vowing to fight the changes. "Bloomberg did a lot of rezoning and didn't get a lot of push back. Now de Blasio is getting push back from every rezoning proposal he has in place."