City Council to decide fate of 5Pointz today

From left: Jerry Wolkoff, David Wolkoff and 5Pointz
From left: Jerry Wolkoff, David Wolkoff and 5Pointz

The New York City Council will decide today on the fate of 5Pointz, a mecca for graffiti artists in Long Island City that the longtime owner is seeking to demolish to make way for a 1,000-apartment complex.

The Wolkoff family agreed last week to set aside additional space within the $400 million, two-tower project for affordable housing and artists’ studios, in the hopes of getting the Council’s approval. The family proposed increasing the number of affordable units from 75 to 210 and the amount of studio space from 2,200 square feet to 12,000 square feet.

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The changes have made the project more palatable to Long Island City’s Community Board 2. “It’s a much better project now than when we first heard about it,” community board chairman Joseph Conley told the New York Times.

David Wolkoff, a principal at development firm G&M Realty and an owner of 5Pointz, told the newspaper that the project would continue to provide a haven for the artistic community that has thrived around 5Pointz. “The artwork is absolutely fabulous,” he said. “That’s why we’re asking them to come back to the new building.”

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, a Democrat from Queens who helped negotiate the changes to the project, told the Times that “the truth is there was not a way to save the building. The building is privately owned; the owners can knock that down and build a very large building.” [NYT]  – Hiten Samtani

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