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Judge Extends Order Blocking 5Pointz Demolition

 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 — A judge has extended a temporary order blocking developers' plans to tear down the 5Pointz graffiti mecca to make way for luxury apartments.

The order, issued in federal court Monday, will stay in effect through Nov. 12 and prohibits G&M Realty from any demolition-related activities at the site, and also prohibits the artists from painting there, an attorney for 5Pointz said.

The judge also scheduled a evidentiary hearing on the artists' request for a preliminary injunction in the case, which will take place Nov. 6, court records show.

"We feel good," 5Pointz volunteer and spokeswoman Marie Cecile Flageul said.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court Oct. 10 by 16 street artists from 5Pointz who are seeking legal protection for their works — painted on the exterior of the Long Island City buildings — under the 1990 Visual Artists Rights Act.

Cecile Flageul said that while demolition isn't immediately imminent — there are still commercial and residential tenants in the buildings at 22-44 Jackson Ave., she says — the order will protect the artists' works for the time being.

"We felt that there was a good chance they would try to tamper or damage the art work," she said, adding that they're also currently working to submit a second application for the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission, seeking landmark designation for the site.

The artists want to ultimately purchase the space in order to turn it into a permanent center for aerosol arts, Cecile Flageul has said.

The Nov. 6 court hearing will also address the artists' allegations that G&M Realty violated the temporary restraining order by having construction crews at the site over the weekend, court records show.

G&M Realty owners Gerald and David Wolkoff, and their attorney, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

But the father-and-son property owners have said previously that they want to include neighborhood artists in their future plans for the site, incorporating art studios and street art walls at the planned luxury high-rise apartment towers.

They also agreed to include more than 200 affordable apartment units in the development.