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5 Pointz to face wrecking ball by Sept. 2013

The 5 Pointz graffiti warehouse is likely to be demolished by September 2013 and replaced by two apartment buildings if the property owner’s plans are approved.

Last Wednesday, David Wolkoff, whose family owns the Long Island City property, attended a land use committee meeting at Community Board 2 in Woodside to provide an “information presentation” on the proposed development.

He told the committee that he planned to erect two residential towers that would contain 1,000 rental units. One tower would be 47 stories high, while the other 41 stories.  As part of the development, there would be between 25,000 and 30,000 sqf. of retail space.

Wolkoff said that 55% to 60% of the rental units would be 1 bedroom apartments; 20% studios; and the balance, 2 bedroom or loft-style apartments. At this point, the apartments will be rented at market rate, which is at about $30 per sqf., Wolkoff said.

The development will include walls that graffiti artists can use to display their art and there will be a small number of artist studios.

The Wolkoff family has owned the property for decades and has allowed local artists to use the warehouse to display their work for years.

However, the developer believes that Jackson Avenue has undergone a great deal of change in the past 10 years and that now is the appropriate time to pursue residential development.

Wolkoff, however, has to apply for a special permit to build the project on this scale. The development would create 980,000 sqf. in space, well over 5 times the size of the lot that is permitted. Therefore, he is seeking a permit that would allow him to build 8 times the lot area.

The developer is also seeking a waiver from a strict street-wall requirement.

Wolkoff said that he hopes to get the “plans certified” (requiring a detailed submission of plans and maps) with the Department of City Planning by fall.

The plans would then undergo the uniform land use procedure, which includes a 60 day period for the community board to review the application and make a recommendation to the city planning commission.  The borough president is also required to write a recommendation.

The uniform land use procedure is a seven month process.

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43 Responses »

  1. The people in the surrounding neighborhoods have been trying to get rid of that eyesore for many years. It’s a magnet for graffiti vandals who brought all sorts of trouble to Sunnyside and L.I.C.
    Thank God that it will soon be gone.

  2. I adore 5 Pointz and disagree with Paul.

    Graffiti vandals don’t target legal graffiti spaces. Besides the fact that the art on 5 Pointz can barely be called graffiti. If you walked through 5 Pointz you would notice that they do amazing work over there. It’s hardly the awful “tagging” we get over here in Sunnyside.

  3. I was always under the impression that the graffiti art was allowed and encouraged. It’s hardly an eyesore. I do think it’s cool that they will still have walls for graffiti as well as art studios.

  4. “Wolkoff, however, has to apply for a special permit to build the project on this scale. The development would create 980,000 sqf. in space, well over 5 times the size of the lot that is permitted. Therefore, he is seeking a permit that would allow him to build 8 times the lot area.”
    VOTE NO TO THIS OVERSIZE BEHEMOTH!!!

  5. I was just there yesterday and witnessed a wedding party being photographed. 5 Pointz is an icon in the neighborhood and is so inspiring in person. It is the only thing I enjoy about riding the 7 train. I do not want to see it demolished for more suburban sprawl.

  6. Has anyone thought about how two buildings 41 stories and 47 stories will affect the view of the New York skyline from Queens ????

    A little lower and everyone could be happy …

    Great that they will include a space for continuing the grafitti artistry in that area …

  7. More tall, ugly buildings that block out the sun, ruin the view and chill the soul.

    Wonderful.

  8. Good riddence to bad rubbish! I could never stand the site of that building anyway! Graffiti is NOT art! It’s just plain vandalism, & there is nothing attractive or inspiring about that crap painted all over public spaces! All it does is to dispoil the city!
    Just sayin’!

  9. bummer. 5 pointz is one of the only things in LIC i’m proud to pass by on the ride home everyday.

  10. 5 pointz is a disgusting mess that I hate with a passion.
    If the owner needs some free labor to tear it down he can contact me.
    Are huge towers the best replacement? probably not. But better than the existing garbage.

  11. What a bunch old worn out prudes!!! reside here in sunnyside but don’t fret
    we young folks are moving in and taking over adios to the OLD smelly guard.

  12. this owner will be using the demolition of an “eyesore” to try to win favor for exceeding as of right zoning and setback requirements.

  13. I would agree 5 Pointz has had its day, but what I find worrying is the oversized replacements. There are already too many ugly, non-descript residential towers that do LIC no favors! I would hope this development would be subject to some kind of aesthetic approval also.

  14. @ king of Queens Your delusions presage your fate.

  15. I will miss 5 ptz. But I am really uncomfortable with 2 towers over 40 stories each. Rather jarring.

  16. Pretty soon a ride on the 7 train will be nothing but trip through some sterile, space age, glass and steel canyon. About as charming as a hypodermic needle.

  17. Two towers, one will be 47 stories and the other 41! That is just horrendous, the Citi tower is about 50. If this developer is allowed to build this that will give the green light to other developers to start developing big in the area. They should cut down the sizeof it.

  18. How about not building one more condo or high-rise until there’s a new subway line to service the overflowing population?

  19. This is another sad day in NY. I am far from a hipster but there is absolutely no character left in NY. I miss the old New York, pre-Guiliani. This is not graffiti of throwee tags, it is encouraged work. I would def like to see some more established artists hit those walls. The Michael de Feo flower is so beautiful if anyone here even knows what I’m referring to. There are a million empty condos up in Queens plaza killing the view for us and hurting our real estate values whether you know it or not. Children, tourists and art lovers appreciate this for what it is, a form of expression. Those glass buildings all over Queens Plaza are hideous, don’t get me started on the Citi building! How do sterile buildings look better than colourful walls, the Brits will always have us beat there, they embrace their street artists and culture while we are always trying to be politically correct. At the very least make the towers a LOT shorter!

  20. It’s disgusting they would put HOUSING near that extremely noisy, rickety 7 Train track – no doubt no sane wealthy person would buy an apartment there and it will end up as public housing filled with the less fortunate and the developer will use it as a big, fat tax write-off.

    That space should remain commercial – it was good as a factory and good too as artist lofts which is what I guess it was when they emptied the building out.

    I enjoy looking at the graffiti but really, that is secondary to my feeling it should not be housing.

  21. Ah yes, I too long for the Pre-Giuliani days. I look back with fondness on the crack-fueled crime waves, homelessness and soaring AIDS infection rates pre-Guiliani. Who didn’t enjoy the “wilding” when groups of thugs would run through subway cars and stores looting, rioting, and terrorizing? It’s just so boring today in comparison. Who needs the extra revenue from the throngs of tourists who now come to NYC but feared for their lives and wouldn’t come here pre-Giuliani? I think each mayor’s motto on crime says it best: Giuliani’s was: “Zero tolerance”. Dinkins’ was “Don’t Dis Your Sis”.

  22. If you care about the well being of LIC and preserving its charm , maybe building a huge overpriced condo is not the way to go ..
    You may or may not like graffiti , but we are recognized worlwide as a landmark. We made the 10 best outdoor free exhibit in skymiles magazine, we are mentionned as a must see in over 130 travels guides worlwide.
    We host free events for the community everyweek end , and welcome families from strollers to walkers .
    We are bringing a huge amount of foot traffic , and clients for local businesses , ask courtsquare dinner , Sage, Bella via etc ….
    We were selected as a location by director Louis Leterrier for his new movie Now you see me coming out January 18th , with stars like morgan freeman , etc .. which provided a very good income to the Wolkoff s as all major shoots do since they own the building.
    If 5 Pointz leaves Lic, all local business will feel it , the landscape will be horrible , the living condition for neighbors atrocious , years of construction, dust , …
    I live 2 blocks from there in Arris loft, and back appartment hear the 7 train , and the train yeard … who will want to move in ???
    Seriously

  23. 5PTZ is a haven for Hip Hop culture and the beautiful community it represents. I’ve been to countless events there on the roof and in the courtyard featuring artists young and old, from all ethnicities, countries far and wide collaborating and building together. While children climb on the linoleum to imitate their b-boy and b-girl parents, artists paint walls with bright splashes of color, and musicians, MCs, DJs, Beatboxers all create positive music.

    Stop by some time and say hi. We’d love to have you. There is a little something for everybody.

    And it’s proximity to PS1 is to both institutions’ credit.

  24. To DBK,
    Please stick to the topic. This thread is not discussing AIDS, rioting or homelessness. We are discussing vandalism versus street art and the eminent takeover by oversized towers unless you think those towers will be affordable housing, yea right!

  25. Does anybody know when is the next meeting between David Wolkoff and the community board,and our elected officials?. I would like to attend and put my two cents in.

  26. Any geologists out there can tell me if there is any bedrock in LIC that can support all these tall structures?

    I remember in high school the teacher telling us that Long Island is made up of unconsolidated sediment and only small buildings could be built there.

    One good earthquake and all these glass towers will get flattened. We don’t normally get big earthquakes here, but nature does like to throw us humans a curve ball occasionally.

  27. @marie5pointz hats off to marie, honestly hit the nail nail on the head with that.

    It’s really a shame to see the amount of misinformed and extremely judgmental assertions that have been spewed by those blinded by their fears and prejudices . 5ptz is undoubtedly an iconic location and one of the few places in the city that actually cultivates a space which encourages the emergence of creativity and innovation. Aren’t these qualities vital to the long term growth and development of the city as a cultural and economic capital? People need to confront the ideological walls that prevent them from seeing the inherent beauty and value that a space like 5ptz posses. Aside from the economic and aesthetics lenses that always seem to dominate these debates, people need to break it down and look at the social relations and interactions spaces like 5ptz promote as well. Its one of the few places in the city that attracts the diversity that NYC apparently prides itself on. 5ptz is a nexus that spontaneously brings together so many individuals be they a tourist, local, woman, man, old, young whatever. These are the interactions that create the urban spectacle that so many of us desire and entices us to live and visit cities like NY. The passing of 5ptz will be another worrying sign of the sterile and homogenous times to come in NYC history unless politicians, and probably even more importantly, the general nyc constituency, change its ideological gears.

  28. I might be the onlyone who didn’t liked that building , and it’s happy about it … Although graffitie is art , in my opinion it is a place for Egocentrisim rather than art expression, placing your name in a wall is just not artistic at allergy releases of your techniques.

  29. I would like to first point out 5 POINTZ is what first brought me to NYC about 3 years ago. I am from Toronto and I wanted to see this legendary landmark.

    I went there not known what to expect… and what I discovered was more than my hope or dreams could begin to imagine!!!!!

    Not only was I confronted with the sheer beauty of the art and blown away by the scale of such a building, but it deepened. What I gained at 5 pointz was a new FAMILY!!!!! I was welcomed and shown around… there was no judgment or ego. There was just a group of artist getting together to collaborate and create their wonderful works of art.

    Broke MC got it right… this is an environment that thrives in excelling children and people young and old into a life style of urban culture that allows freedom of expression through Voice, dance and art!!!!

    For all of those who have called this an “Eye sore” or “heaven for vandals” I CHALLANGE YOU!!!!!!!!!

    Go over to the pointz on ANY weekend and Ask for MERES or MARIE and take the tour.. learn the history and I BET you can’t help but change your mind….

    Vandalism occurs in the middle of the night in the dark and is ILLEGAL!!!! What happens here at 5 pointz is legal and permissioned… There are artist that travel from Germany, Paris, Ireland and Canada JUST TO PAINT AT THE LEGENDARY 5 POINTZ!!!!! Do you think they will make the ride out to LIC to look at the Condos????

    There are business in that area that make their revenue on the weekends do to the sheer amount of foot traffic that the pointz brings in … Tour buses stop by daily…. 130 Travel GUIDES that is no small feat….

    Embrace the art, the Beauty, Learn and see the Vision that 5 pointz has and is trying to become with the help of a VERY dedicated staff…. ALL VOLENTEERS they see they vision…..
    Now I challenge you to

    SAVE 5 POINTZ… I’d drive up from Toronto to attend that meeting with David and say my piece!

  30. Allergy releases of technique? That’s a new one

    Personally I think 5 pointz is pretty cool. I’m not going to cry if it comes down, but some of the artwork there is exceptional. It’s something different that you won’t find anywhere else in NY. Those skyscrapers will just be more of the same. LIC is becoming a cesspool of homogeneity

  31. But is it art?

  32. I don’t particularly like this type of art but at least at 5 Points, they are doing it on their own building. It’s when they use their spray paint cans and magic markers on other people’s property that they become vandals and a menace to the quality of life in the neighborhood.

  33. SAVING 5 POINTZ CAN ONLY BENEFIT THE LONG ISLAND CITY COMMUNITY……THINK ABOUT IT,IF ARTIST FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD COME TO NYC AND THERE IS NO 5 POINTZ…WHERE WOULD THEY PAINT…MAYBE ON YOU STOREFRONT,YOUR GARAGE,YOU BUILDING OR MAYBE EVEN YOUR HOME..THATS AN EYE SORE,I BET YOU PREFER THAT PAUL MANRINGELLI….EL DON SAID,”GRAFFITTI IS NOT ART!”..LOL….ITS NOT CONSIDERED ART TO YOU BECAUSE IT WAS PAINTED WITH A SPRAYCAN…..IGNORANCE IS A COMMOM COMMODITY…..SO TELL ME EL DON..IF I PAINTED THE VIRGIN MARY WITH SPRAYPAINT ON A 5 POINTZ WALL ITS CONSIDERED GRAFFITTI, VANDALISM.RIGHT?..BUT IF I PAINTING HER WITH ELEPHANT DUNG AND HUNG IT INSIDE A CITY MUSEUM ITS CALLED ART,ART THAT YOU WOULD GLADLY PAY TO GO SEE…AND AT 5 POITZ IS FREE……GET EDUCATED AND OPEN YOUR MIND.SARAH VALLEJO SAID,”PLACING YOUR NAME IN A WALL IS NOT ARTISTIC.”….IN MY OPINION..LOL….HAVE YOU SEND THE SAME MESSAGE TO COCA COLA,PEPSI AND TO THE LABELS YOU WEAR?BECAUSE WHEN YOU DRIVE ON THE BQE THATS ALL YOU SEE..NAMES ON BILLBOARDS..THAT YOU PAYED FOR BY PURCHASING THOSE JEANS..YOUR FEEDING THE SAME ANIMAL YOUR TRYING TO KILL..

  34. Goodbye NYC in all its glory……welcome all you selfish all about me hipsters — you all won’t be happy until our city with all it’s wonderful faults becomes sterilized like the citys you fled from…..this is a one and only NYC treasure…make room for more sterilized hipster “because I can afford it” barren looking high-rises!

  35. I went to high school with David Wolkoff.

  36. I agree with what TED said….

    It’s disgusting they would put HOUSING near that extremely noisy, rickety 7 Train track – no doubt no sane wealthy person would buy an apartment there and it will end up as public housing filled with the less fortunate and the developer will use it as a big, fat tax write-off.

    I have spent enough hours with 5 Points to say confidently that MERES & MARIE have worked very hard in accomplishing their goal to present 5 Pointz as a New York City’s Art-world Landmark.

    Demolishing the 5 Points location will NOT abolish the art of graffiti from NYC. Giving these artists a safe haven to paint was a blessing to NYC and the NYC Transit System. If you take away this sanctuary……there iz a chance that graffiti will return to the NYC Transit System. Then it will become a problem to NYC again. Peace out.

  37. We need 5 points,NYC needs 5 points, the kids need it, everyone needs it, this place is a place for everyone,old, young, new,old school, from everyone that has painted there, to the ppl that still want to paint there, this 5points brings bussiness to NYC, and lic, ppl from around the world come to 5 points just to be a part of this NYC wonder….I love 5 points, and befor that it was phun phactory, so thank you Meres, and everyone tjat works and helps out at 5 points and thanks to pat, and thanks to izthewiz for there mission is what made all this possable… Rip to everyone we lost, Go…d bless the dead… 5points 4 ever…

  38. We as NEW YORKERS have to stop letting these money hungry industry giants take over our adored landmarks. 5 points is part on NYC history and we can’t keep letting go of the history we have in NY just to build a sky rise that only the extremely wealthy can afford. I say if 5 points goes we have to BOMB THE SYSTEM like back in the day. Damn hipster trying to ruin the NEW YORK I grew up in and love. WE NEED TO TAKE NEW YORK BACK FROM THE TRANSPLANTS

  39. Is this still happening? are they really tearing this down? I am an art teacher and i just finished a lesson on graffiti ART inspired by 5pointz. Students were to create a tag name and create a graffiti piece of art after watching a youtube video tour at 5pointz. When i fuond out there were talks of it being demolished it really upset me. How do you not categorize graffiti as art???? isnt that was basquiat challenged the fine art community in the 80s?? of course it is.

  40. I’m a recent transplant to Queens and 5 Pointz is one of my favorite things in the borough. I truly hope these plans aren’t approved.

  41. I agree. 5Pointz and PS1 are both big draws for locals and out-of-towners alike. I get that LIC has been growing for a while but I’m not quite so convinced it will need the density of housing it’s trying to push. Honestly the level of new apartments that have popped up in Queens in the last couple of years seems silly. Even people who recently moved here are saying “This makes me just want to go back to Manhattan.”

    Wealthy business people: Stop trying to make a buck now and build a sustainable and endearing community and culture. That’s a real legacy you can be proud of.

  42. I’m from Germany and visited NY in September 2013. Witnessing 5Pointz was awesome to me and one of the greatest moments ever.

    Here in Germany graffiti is apprechiated as art. In New York – the cradle of graffiti art – I soon got the feeling this appreciation is gone everywhere. But at 5Pointz the spirit was still alive.

    For those who understand German here’s an article I wrote about it:
    http://sirpreiss.wordpress.com/2013/10/10/special-5-pointz-in-queens-ny

    I hope 5Pointz will live on in any other form. The former idea of a graffiti museum should still be an option.

    Regards,
    SirPreiss

  43. I can see bothsides of the argument having lived through years of graffiti related behaviour. My son’s friends were a mix of wankers and dedicated artists. The dedicated artists’ continue to work to the benefit of most (on walls but also in mainstream graphic arts and art itself). 5Pointz is a Mecca to so many. Street art is confronting to a lot of people and is ephemeral but the changes from week to week and the increases in sophistication are amazing.
    Keep the building standing!!!

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