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City Council Approves Plan to Build Luxury High-Rises at 5Pointz

 Tourists at graffiti arts center 5 Pointz in Long Island City.
Tourists at graffiti arts center 5 Pointz in Long Island City.
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DNAinfo/Jeanmarie Evelly

LONG ISLAND CITY — The City Council voted Wednesday in favor of a controversial plan to build two luxury high-rises on the site of famed graffiti center 5Pointz.

The council approved a special permit that will allow for developer G&M Realty to construct two towers, measuring 47 and 41 stories tall and containing around a thousand luxury apartments, more than current zoning at the 22-44 Jackson Ave. site allows.

The plan has drawn fierce resistance from local artists who have been campaigning to save the block of warehouses, which street artists have used as a canvas for nearly two decades, drawing tourists and visitors from around the world.

Queens Community Board 2 voted against the plan in June, saying it didn't include enough benefits for the community. The proposal was later approved by the Queens Borough President and the City Planning Commission after G&M Realty amended it to include affordable housing units and expanded space for artists' studios.

At a City Council hearing last week, G&M Realty owners David and Jerry Wolkoff agreed to more than double the number of affordable apartments in the development than originally proposed. They also pledged the project would create 1,000 jobs.

In addition to the luxury apartments, G&M Realty's plans for the development include 50,000 square feet of retail space, over 30,000 square feet of landscaped public outdoor space, a 250-car public parking garage, plus artists' studios and gallery space around the buildings.

David Wolkoff told DNAinfo last month that he hopes to start demolition by the end of the year.