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  #21  
Old Posted Apr 25, 2013, 10:11 PM
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http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/...icle-1.1326400

Gearing up for loss of 5Pointz, one the most memorable tourist attractions in Queens
Owners of the Long Island City building plan to turn 5Pointz into residential towers; artists mourn loss of graffiti mecca









By Clare Trapasso
April 25, 2013


Quote:
The intricate graffiti murals that adorn the walls of 5Pointz have drawn bus loads of tourists for more than a decade to Long Island City. But with plans to transform the former water meter factory into a pair of deluxe residential towers, local leaders are gearing up for the loss of the internationally known 5Pointz Aerosol Art Center and to welcome new residents and businesses.

“It’s sad for the area,” said Rob Mackay, who heads the marketing and tourism arm of the Queens Economic Development Corp. “We’re going to lose a steady flow of tourism.” He lamented that Queens will soon lose one of its “cooler” selling points, but added the new development will be a boon for the local economy.

Building owners Jerry and David Wolkoff have allowed aerosol artists to paint the building’s facade for years. But the area is shedding its predominantly industrial past and being transformed into trendy neighborhood. “This is the most opportune time, we think, to go through with this type of project,” said David Wolkoff.

The building won’t be torn down until his plans go through a city review process — but he said he hopes to have a demolition permit by the end of the year. The ground floor of the new 41- and 47-story rental units will offer artist studios at reasonable rates, he said. The first tower is slated to open in 2015.

Jonathan (Meres) Cohen, founder of 5Pointz, said about 1,000 artists of varying backgrounds visit the center each year — in addition to the buses that bring tourists to the site. “It’s a magical place,” he said. “On any given day, you’re most likely to see someone painting.”

Artist Dustin Spagnola, 32, travelled this month from Asheville, N.C., to what he called the “epicenter of the graffiti world” to paint a tiger mural on the building. “I don’t think that there is a place like this anywhere else,” he said.

Artist Eric Felisbret, author of the book “Graffiti New York,” said the center has become something a networking hub for artists. “5Pointz is a really great place for the art form to develop and thrive,” he said “It had a good run. I’m going to miss it.”

Dan Miner, senior vice president of the local business group the Long Island City Partnership, said 5Pointz is “an iconic part of the Long Island City scenery.” But he’s excited about the impact the new residents and businesses will have on the area. “The buildings will bring positive additional development to the neighborhood ,” he said.
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  #22  
Old Posted May 25, 2013, 6:55 PM
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http://observer.com/2013/05/5pointz-...e-for-decades/

5Pointz Backfire: Developer Blasted For Taking Back Building He Let Artists Use for Decades


By Stephen Jacob Smith
5/23/13


Quote:
During his opening remarks at the 5Pointz redevelopment hearing, developer David Wolkoff, whose father Jerry bought the Long Island City property in the 1970s, told the audience, “We’ve been members of the community for over 40 years.” Though they certainly tried (26 years! 29! 33! 4!), none of the speakers in opposition could quite top his time in Long Island City.

“I have fond memories of crawling in the basement of this building” as a child, he told the hostile crowd.

Normally the Wolkoffs wouldn’t have to grovel—it is, after all, their property. But the city dangles extra density as a carrot to developers— a tantalizing 60 percent in the case of this site— if they agree to build extra parking and plazas and to endure the public review process. (Amenities that Court Square has in abundance, including the surprisingly dense thicket of trees by One Court Square. If Jane Jacobs were still alive, we can’t help but wonder if she’d question the number of trees and the paucity of people.)

Some among the assembled masses had the normal NIMBY concerns about the project. Parking got the first audience mention (there will only be 250 spaces, which someone on the development team said was the only number allowed by law), and another person asked what the precedent was for adding that many units at once to a neighborhood (there will be about 1,000 apartments in the two-tower complex). (The Observer would guess that the precedent for this part of Queens was set in the late 19th century, when Wilhelm Steinweg set up Steinway Village, the Steinway & Sons company town.)

One woman, who described herself as a second soprano, a Quaker, and “middle aged and middle class” (the latter seemed a bit of a stretch) expressed concern that the developer wouldn’t be able to lease the units and would have to put them in the Section 8 federal housing program.

But most of the opposition to the scheme centered not around parking and neighborhood congestion, but around the loss of what is likely the most prominent exhibition for the aerosol arts on earth and draws busloads of tourists in the summer from around the world.

Most of the speakers, and especially the aerosol artists, spoke with considerable anger about the project. But those who knew the Wolkoffs—the family had, after all, been their way-below-market-rate landlord for decades—were more restrained.

“My only regret,” said 5Pointz curator Jonathan Cohen, “is that the same people who allowed me, unknowingly, to create such a cultural gem don’t see it the way I do.”

Mr. Wolkoff said repeatedly that his family was happy to have hosted the artists for so long, that they wouldn’t have done it if they didn’t have an abiding appreciation for the arts. But we couldn’t help but wonder if a part of him regretted turning the building over to the taggers who were now protesting against him outside.

The speakers, many of them aerosol artists, painted Mr. Wolkoff as a slick developer who would stop at nothing to make a buck, even if it meant, as one put it, destroying one of the few things that Long Island City has gotten right.

Damned ingrates.
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  #23  
Old Posted May 26, 2013, 11:23 AM
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Tear it down. Maybe they can save some of the walls?
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  #24  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2013, 6:22 PM
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^ Maybe.


http://www.ny1.com/content/top_stori...ard-opposition

Owner To Move Forward With Redevelopment Plan For "5 Pointz" Site Despite Community Board Opposition


By: NY1 News
June 7, 2013

Quote:
Lovers of graffiti call it a living art museum. If you haven't stopped by, you might have seen it from the 7 train in Long Island City. It's known as 5 Pointz.

"This is my platform. This is my canvas," said Carlos "ctf" Game, a graffiti artist. "This is where I get to express myself." Game has been creating with aerosol on the building at Jackson Avenue for years. It's legal because the owner allows it and has for about two decades.

"You don't have to worry about a lot of the pressures," Game said. "You get a lot of feedback from the community. They tell you what they like, what they don't like. You can express yourself in a different level over here because you interact with the street, you interact with the people."

The people who love 5 Pointz and what it's become spoke out against plans to change it at a community board meeting Thursday.

"We've allowed people to do what they wanted to do without persecution, just as we now want to do what we want to do because it is our building," said David Wolkoff, the owner of the property.

The owner wanted to build new structures with 1,000 market-rate apartments, commercial tenants on the ground floor, 250 parking spaces and some art space and art studios.

"We're building a new building," Wolkoff said. "We want to try to transition from the past into the future. Long Island City is growing and becoming very popular."

His plan, though, was unpopular at the meeting. The community board voted against it, saying it wants affordable housing included and more artist space added.

"We will always listen to what they have to say," Wolkoff said. "Whether we agree with everything they say is another consideration."

Most in the crowd considered the vote a victory because they don't want to see the space they cherish change.

"This is what I live for, and for somebody to take that away from me or to take that away from us, because I'm not the only one here, that's a feeling I don't want to deal with right now," Game said.

The owner of the building said he can take build more than 600 apartments without zoning permission, but needs the permission for this plan, permission that would have to come from City Council after a few more recommendations or non-recommendations from other government entities.
It really pisses me off when people think they are just "owed" something that isn't theirs. The developers should say, "you know what, we're tearing the building down, whether we build anything here or not."
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  #25  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2013, 6:54 PM
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^NIMBY'ism at its blinkered worst, this. The nigh delusional sense of entitlement is both hilarious and enough to provoke into knocking heads together.
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  #26  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2013, 8:00 PM
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This guy is being punished for being a nice guy, and letting folks use his buildings for many years, for free.

Doesn't matter, though. The two towers will be built. Community Boards are only advisory, and only the City Planning Commission (controlled by the Mayor and City Council) has decision-making power.
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  #27  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2013, 9:02 PM
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The Wolfkoffs have every right to redevelop this property. It's theirs. End of story.

BUT, this isn't some shitty ugly little building that old ladies are bitching about losing because they used to crochet on the stoop or because some poet slept there 150 years ago.

This is an authentic living monument to an artform that is 100% NYC.

This is one of the most unique art spaces in the world. Graffiti was born and bred in the NYC jungle. It's part of NYC's blood and one of many major cultural contributions NYC has given the world. It disappeared from the trains long ago, and this is one of the last places you can see the evolution of the artform right in the city that birthed it.

I'll never forget the first time I looked out the window of the 7 across all those tracks and saw 5 Pointz for the first time against the backdrop of the Manhattan skyline. All New York, and only in New York.

I love development and loathe NIMBYism. But I will be very sad to see 5 Pointz go.

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  #28  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2013, 12:25 PM
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The problem with these outer borough developments is that they take away construction from Manhattan. It would be better to concentrate all high rise development in Manhattan to make it even more super dense and amazing.
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  #29  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2013, 12:28 PM
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^^ disagree, Manhattan is basically built out, making construction hugely more expensive than in the boroughs. LIC, Williamsburg, downtown Brooklyn, Hunters point, greenpoint, BAM...When these and similar projects start finishing up, you would get the Jersey City effect (waterway lined with high rises on both sides) on the east river as well, would look awesome IMO.
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  #30  
Old Posted Jun 9, 2013, 12:18 AM
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This post *is* on topic; and you'll see why:
Yes, Manhattan is essentially built out, but mostly vis a vis residential and mixed use.
There's enough construction coming in the pipeline anyway. The new MidTown East zone is ready to roll. The West side is gonna go crazy starting really soon. The 57th Street corridor will be almost unrecognizeable 5 years from now. Downtown there're two more towers awaiting the green light at the WTC, plus a 1,000+ at the Seaport, 56 Leonard, 99 Church (still the addy for this tower?) etc.

The relevance to what I just said to this post is this. The built-out aspect of Manhattan is primarily ultra-prime residential-based; and the fact that choice parcels along the above-mentioned 57th St. are selling like mad proves it. Park and Madison are almost just as much in demand...with 432P leading the pack. 8th Ave and 10th Ave aren't poorly repreesented either btw.
Here's the relevant point: It makes sense that an entire swath of land from Long Island City to Downtown Brooklyn is ready to meet the affordability demand by the lower classes that Manhattan cannot provide anymore.
Everyone who's a fan of going vertical in this Town should be dancing whirlyjigs till they fall down and see God. While they'll never admit it, the NIMBY's and pea-brained civic associations who basically have no clue what's good for them will be forced to enter into the reality that once outward expansion is no longer feasible, there's only one way to go.
Up. And in some parts of this city, way up.
For a part of Queens already booming, this project is a great way to see the foregoing theory realized.
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  #31  
Old Posted Jun 10, 2013, 1:28 PM
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Originally Posted by ablerock View Post
The Wolfkoffs have every right to redevelop this property. It's theirs. End of story.

BUT, this isn't some shitty ugly little building that old ladies are bitching about losing because they used to crochet on the stoop or because some poet slept there 150 years ago.

This is an authentic living monument to an artform that is 100% NYC.

This is one of the most unique art spaces in the world. Graffiti was born and bred in the NYC jungle. It's part of NYC's blood and one of many major cultural contributions NYC has given the world. It disappeared from the trains long ago, and this is one of the last places you can see the evolution of the artform right in the city that birthed it.

I'll never forget the first time I looked out the window of the 7 across all those tracks and saw 5 Pointz for the first time against the backdrop of the Manhattan skyline. All New York, and only in New York.

I love development and loathe NIMBYism. But I will be very sad to see 5 Pointz go.
Well said, and completely agree with your view.
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  #32  
Old Posted Jun 11, 2013, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by ablerock View Post
The Wolfkoffs have every right to redevelop this property. It's theirs. End of story.

BUT, this isn't some shitty ugly little building that old ladies are bitching about losing because they used to crochet on the stoop or because some poet slept there 150 years ago.

This is an authentic living monument to an artform that is 100% NYC.
And like much of that artform before it, permanence was and is no guarantee.
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  #33  
Old Posted Jun 13, 2013, 1:21 PM
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There are a ton of development proposals in NYC that are so exciting. This is the one exception. I feel the city would be better served by landmarking 5 pointz / turning it into some kind of crazy art museum.

I realize NYC is a dynamic place and sometimes old buildings go away, that doesn't mean I won't feel bad when it happens to one of my favorites.
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  #34  
Old Posted Jun 13, 2013, 1:30 PM
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And like much of that artform before it, permanence was and is no guarantee.
Ha! Touché!

The Wolkoffs should've just said that at the community board meeting, dropped the mic, and walked off. The graffiti writers heads would've been blown.
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  #35  
Old Posted Jul 8, 2013, 10:33 PM
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http://licpost.com/2013/07/03/jerry-...5-pointz-plan/

Jerry Wolkoff to add affordable housing, art studios to 5 Pointz plan




By admin on Jul 03, 2013


Quote:
Jerry Wolkoff, the owner of 5 Pointz building, was livid when he learned that his plan to build two residential towers where the graffiti icon now stands was rejected by Community Board 2 last month. “I wasn’t upset with the community,” Wolkoff said. “I was upset that my staff did not find out what the community needed and took them for granted.” He said his staff would tell him that “things are coming along great” and that everything is going to plan. However, he said, it was clear that they were not in tune community.

Wolkoff said that he’s been involved with the Long Island City community for 40 years and has worked with artists and promoted their art for decades. “I’ve seen people grow up in this area. It is not like I’m from Manhattan (or elsewhere) and I have just bought a piece of property.” “I would never have presented a building that I didn’t think had community support,” Wolkoff said.

Wolkoff, who was represented by his son David and a fleet of consultants at the community board meetings, continues to seek a special permit that would allow him to build 1,000 units–370 more than permitted ‘as of right’ by present zoning. The focus is not been on whether the graffiti icon will be demolished (Wolkoff can do that “as of right”) but whether he will be permitted to build so many units.

The community board, which plays an advisory role, sighted a slew of reasons for opposing the special zoning permit. They cited, among other items, that his plan made no provision for affordable housing, that it lacked a meaningful number of art studios, and that there was a lack of low-cost parking spaces.

Shortly after Community Board 2 rejected his plan, Wolkoff convened a meeting with several board members. Wolkoff, who didn’t attend the community board 2 public meetings on the proposed development, said he went to the meeting and said ‘tell me your concerns and I will try and take care of them.” Wolkoff said: “I was sorry that it had come to that point. “

Joe Conley, chairman of community board 2, confirmed Wolkoff’s desire for a meeting and his aim to learn more about the community’s objections. Wolfkoff said he sat down with the board members and drew up a list of items the community sought. “It wasn’t a case of you give me this and I will give you that. I said ‘what are people asking for?”

Wolkoff told the board members that he would increase the size of the artist space from 2,000sq ft. (about 5 studios) to 12,000 sq ft. Wolkoff said that when he learned that the public sort affordable housing, he revised his plan to include 54 affordable units. That number equates to 20% of the 370 extra units that the special permit would provide. He said that the units would be of the same quality as the market-rate units. Wolkoff also said that he would display art work on the streets surrounding the development, as well as provide inexpensive parking. Wolkoff said he would have included these provisions in the first place had his staff informed him of what the community sought. Despite the changes, Community Board 2 remains on record as rejecting the proposal.

The plan, which includes Wolkoff’s revisions, is in the hands of Borough President Helen Marshall. Her office held a hearing on the proposal on Thursday and is expected to make a decision on the plan any day now, according to her spokesman. Should Marshall approve it, the plan will go to the City Planning Commission. While the commission could nix the application, it is likely to move on to the City Council for a vote. Conley said that had Wolkoff included these provisions in the plan that was presented to Community Board 2 the vote may have gone a different way.

Wolkoff said that he will continue to work with the community to meet its concerns but realizes that he can’t keep everyone happy. He said that when he allowed the artists to paint on the building, he would get complaints from people saying ‘why do you allow this’ ugly graffiti. Now there are people who can’t stand the prospect of seeing the building go. “Some people are never happy,” Wolkoff said. “Some people don’t like the Mona Lisa; they say she smiles too much.”
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  #36  
Old Posted Jul 9, 2013, 12:04 AM
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How about adding some architecture?
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  #37  
Old Posted Jul 9, 2013, 6:17 AM
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How about adding some architecture?
Post of the week.
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  #38  
Old Posted Jul 9, 2013, 12:36 PM
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How about adding some architecture?
I don't think it's that bad, the renderings a little crappy. Considering what and where it's going up, it's better than a lot of the new construction we see today. There's always a chance that the designs could change though.






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  #39  
Old Posted Jul 9, 2013, 7:09 PM
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The architecture of these buildings is terrible. I like the height though. I was just in LIC last weekend, the area around Court Square needs more density. Maybe once the developer gets through the approvals process they can hire a real architect.

Last edited by sbarn; Jul 9, 2013 at 7:21 PM.
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  #40  
Old Posted Jul 9, 2013, 7:18 PM
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It looks decent.
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