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5 Pointz still on track to face wrecking ball

LIC, 5Pointz

5Pointz as seen from No. 7 train

April 25, 2013 By Christian Murray

While the 5 Pointz graffiti warehouse is still on track to be demolished by year end, the developer says that a space will remain in the new complex for street artists to show off their work, according to a report by New York YIMBY.

David Wolkoff, whose family owns the Long Island City property, plans to erect two residential towers that would contain 1,000 rental units– 400 units more that what is currently allowed. 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, artists’ galleries and a 250-car parking garage.

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 would be rented at market rate, which is at about $30 per sqf., Wolkoff said.

The development would 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.

The plans are about to wind their way through 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.

If all goes to plan, the development will be completed by 2017.

Wolkoff rendering

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The 7 train can be seen in the picture so why is the picture described as “as seen from the 7 Train?”

Dorothy Morehead

Sycamore, I’m the only real estate broker on CB 2 and I do residential sales and rentals, primarily in Sunnyside. The massive buildings in LIC are due to re-zoning in parts of LIC. (There is a historic district which cannot be developed.) I agree with the many bloggers who oppose the massive buildings proposed for the site and will vote to oppose it. Anyone who opposes either the demolition of 5-Pointz or the construction of the over-sized building should testify to that effect at the community board. The next meeting is on Thursday at 7 and it is at Sunnyside Community Services on 39th Street just north of Queens Blvd.

A Walker, the re zoning of Sunnyside was more than a decade in the making with numerous public hearings and was enacted to prevent over-development on the residential side streets in favor of higher development on Queens Boulevard. Unless otherwise zoned, development of 6-story buildings is as-of-right in Queens. In other areas of Queens, i.e., 36th Street in Asroria, developers have built 6-story buildings in the middle of a block of single-family homes. This can no longer be done in Sunnyside and Woodside because of the re-zoning.

Annie D

And still other walls can be auctioned to cultural institutions to help pay for the park!

(I wish I was a politician or rich developer/philanthropist)

Annie D

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. A condemned building is never good for a neighborhood. However, parks are!

Let’s build a public park there and re-purpose some of the select walls as artwork within the park (and other segments can be on display in places like Socrates Sculpture Park).


Even if the current building comes down, I wish the zoning laws were being enforced. . . . LIC does not need anymore 40-plus storied buildings. . . why wouldn’t 20 stories be enough (or whatever compliance with zoning would be).

If the owner wants a new building, okay fine it is his property, but an exception from zoning for *that* level of development? That’s not a good trend to start LIC . . .


@o’shea If I can’t get an exception for breaking parking regulations why should kazillionaires get exceptions for zoning regulations. My car may block a streetsweeper but that is the limit. A building adding far, far, far more square footage–thus people using all those other city services–is a massive burden on the rest of us. The environmental impact alone is severe.

a Walker

Due to the over-expansion of Long Island City with its very expensive condos and over-paid residents it wasn’t long before someone would come along and decide to do the same to Sunnyside especially now that they have changed the zoning. This is just the start of pushing out the long-time residents and businesses in this area which was once a beautiful country-like atmosphere with lovely stores, affordable rents and clean streets.


That Titanic monstrosity will be built on their land and financed with their own money. This is supposed to be a country of unfettered capitalism?
More than 50% of the voting public voted for manny bloombucks. Admit it. Deep down, you love it when your government holds your hands and tells you what to do.
The artists had 10+ years of freedom. its time for the parking lot.


I’m not crazy about the current building, but having lived with it all my life, I could go on with it.

However, I strictly oppose the TITANIC MONSTROSITY the owners are proposing. Why do we having zoning laws if people can just put in an application for a something way out of proportion to the limits? I’m sick of the vultures feeding on this part of NY.

But the rich always get their way eventually. The community board–with many real estate agents serving on it–bend like hot pretzels to screw their neighbors so they can get rich.

Such is the way in Bloombergville!


The article says that Jerkoff has to apply for a special permit to build to the scale he wants. Also the developer has to seek a waiver about street to wall requirements. All this means is that sometime very soon someone in power is going to receive a nice big bulging envelope. Of course it could be just full of be blue prints.

queens plasma

good riddance to the thug palace, cant wait for the dust cloud. let me know when, gonna fix me a mint julep and watch from my terrace.


Anyway we can protest this? I love the art besides these ugly glass condos will block out the skyline from our hood.

43rd & 43rd

I understand they want to cash in, but I think there’s a way to do it without being assholes.

Putting a 47-story “luxury” monstrosity there…total assholes. There’s a reason they’re only allowed to build something 1/5 that size there.

A reasonable-sized building, including walls of graffiti art that can still be seen from the train…I would be OK with that compromise.

Is there any way members of the public can register their opinion? Can we write letters to that community board or is there anything else we can do?

Craic Dealer

“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.”

TRANSLATION: There more money to be had!


LIC is becoming a mini-Manhattan. I just hope it doesn’t extend into Sunnyside. Sunnyside Gardens homes have some historical-type protection. . . I hope more of Sunnyside has that too.

I just don’ t want 41 story buildings in our neighborhood. Hopefully we’re too close to LaGuardia and there are airflight restrictions/considerations preventing that as well. . . . and other zoning law prevent it. . . .

Sunnyside Baby

The best part of the morning and afternoon commutes on the 7 is going by 5 Pointz. I love seeing Biggie’s face and the new stuff that goes up. And will the walls where the graffiti artists can display their art be inside or outside? Probably inside, for the elite that can afford these places.


The only place where graffiti is appropriate gets knocked down and replaced with more hideous high rise boxes that blot out the sun and sky.

Welcome to 21st century NYC. I’m happy the better part of my life is over. I would hate to live in this soulless and sterile town that it is shaping up to be in future decades.


This is really sad. I love riding by 5 Pointz on the 7 train on my way to and from work. It is one of the things that makes Queens gritty and beautiful.


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