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Jerry and David Wolkoff Replacing 5 Pointz: The Institute of Higher Burnin’ with 2 Giant Condos


Yimby has revealed the HTO Architects’ renderings for the controversial new twin residential rental towers that New York developers Jerry and David Wolkoff are building in the 5 Pointz site in Queens.

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5 Pointz: The Institute of Higher Burnin’ or the 5Pointz Aerosol Art Center, Inc. was an American outdoor art exhibit space in Long Island City in Queens, New York, considered to be the world’s premiere “graffiti mecca”, where aerosol artists from around the globe painted colorful pieces on the walls of a 200, 000-square-foot factory building.

On August 21, 2013, the New York City Planning Commission unanimously voted to approve plans to build condos on the 5 Pointz site. The development plans include two residential towers with retail space and affordable housing. The developer, David Wolkoff, wanted to demolish 5Pointz by the end of 2013. The New York City Council, on October 9, 2013, unanimously approved the $400 million plan to build a 1, 000 unit apartment complex with 210 affordable housing units included. The plan calls for 10, 000 square feet exclusively for art panels and walls in the building, including ground level facades to be used for curated graffiti.

Time Out New York reported on November 19, 2013 that the 5 Pointz building was painted white overnight,  providing images that showed the building’s previously graffiti-covered walls partially covered in white paint. A message posted to the 5 Pointz Twitter account the morning of November 19 confirmed the reports. Despite a lawsuit filed by 5 Pointz proprietors as well as a rally on November 16, 2013, to gain petition signatures to protect the building from demolition, the sudden whitewashing indicates the end of the space.

You can sign a landmark petition to stop the demolition, but it’s probably way too late. The future of 5 Pointz will look like this:

22-44 Jackson Avenue,    rendering courtesy of HTO Architect

Construction is expected to begin on the new development located at 22-44 Jackson Avenue by the end of the year. The two towers will be adorned in beige stone and glassy corners fronting on Crane Street. Both will be topped by glass crowns containing penthouse apartments. The north tower’s windows will be larger than the south’s and be in a loft style. It will also hold the project’s retail space in its base, while the south tower’s base will host the developments amenities which will be available to the residents.

The north tower will also be taller at 47 stories and the south will have only 41 stories.

The buildings will have more than one thousand units and 40, 000 of its 1.2 million square feet of floor space will be reserved for commercial outlets such as retail and art galleries.

Amenities will include a public green space, a gym, and indoor pool, media rooms, a salon, classrooms and a tennis court.

There will also be affordable housing units making up 20% of the total under New York’s 80/20 program and they will be spread out between the towers so there will be no “poor door” entrance for lower income tenants.

There will be plenty of parking in a garage that will be hidden from sight.

Demolition on the old warehouse there has begun and should be completed by the end of the year.

The Wolkoff’s have been vilified recently by local residents for tearing down what has been unofficially dubbed Queen’s Grafitti Mecca. Last fall they whitewashed over the graffiti which covered the building. It had become a custom for graffiti artists from around the world to travel to 5Pointz just to paint on the old abandoned factory’s walls. The building formerly housed Crane Street Studios which provided budding artists cheap rents for spaces there.

To compensate for this, the Wolkoff’s have set aside 12, 000 square feet of space in the commercial section of the project for as many as 20 art studios.

The first residents are expected to move in at the beginning of 2016.

5 pointz



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