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Graffiti Mecca 5Pointz to be Replaced by Two High-Rises

The owners of 5Pointz say they plan to knock down the structure by 2013
The owners of 5Pointz say they plan to knock down the structure by 2013
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DNAinfo/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska

LONG ISLAND CITY — The owners of the famed, graffiti-covered 5Pointz warehouse are looking to replace the iconic building, used by artists for almost two decades, with a pair of residential towers.

David Wolkoff said he expected the so-called graffiti mecca — on Davis Street and Jackson Avenue, right next to the Court Square subway station — to be demolished by the end of 2013.

The project has been on the drawing board for a while and the Wolkoff family, which has owned the building for more than 40 years, decided it was time to replace it with a new development.

Long Island City is growing,” said Wolkoff, who recently met with a Community Board 2 land use committee to discuss his plans. “We think now is the time to add to the neighborhood.”

Joe Conley, CB 2 chairman, said the group had a number of concerns about the project, including population density and traffic flow in and out of the buildings, but added the board would be working with Wolkoff to address the issues.

According to Wolkoff, the family was planning to replace 5Pointz with two massive residential towers — 47 and 41 stories tall — that would contain about 1,000 apartments. None of the building will remain.

The majority of units would be 1-bedroom apartments and the rest would be a mix of studios and 2-bedrooms. All would be rented at market rate.

There would also be commercial space on the ground floor, parking for 250 cars, bicycle parking within the building, storage and pedestrian walkways.

Wolkoff said the development would include a public space for graffiti artists to show their work.

The family has allowed artists to use the space for almost two decades and at certain point around 200 artists worked in the building, Wolkoff said.

But the old warehouse is in bad shape and in 2009 part of its exterior staircase collapsed, injuring a woman. After the incident, artists were forced to leave the building.

“It’s been almost empty for about two years,” Wolkoff said.

Artists’ efforts to save the building, covered roof to base with graffiti, were unsuccessful. A petition was circulating among the artists.

The Wolkoffs “gave this space to artists for more than 20 years and it was never meant for permanent use,” Conley noted.

The owners need a special variance from the city to build bigger than is permitted under current zoning.

The project will also have to undergo the uniform land use review procedure.