5 Pointz is coming down, as city approves special permit

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77 Responses to 5 Pointz is coming down, as city approves special permit

  1. 40th Street

    Very disappointed to hear this. Goodbye gritty and colorful character of Queens, hello slick high rises... UGH.

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  2. me

    WELCOME MORE HIPSTERS!!!!!!!!!!! QUEENS IS OFFICIALLY DEAD!

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  3. =/

    This is a damn shame

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  4. pissed of Queens resident

    Lived here my entire life and have reveled at the beauty of 5pointz since I was a kid. And all of the sudden the renovate this neighborhood and all these fucking young hipster people start moving in and they think its okay to just tear down one of the things that makes Queens, Queens in order to make room for more unnecessary residents?!?! This is so fucking sad.

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  5. RANSOM

    bullshit. at least they are giving art spaces. this place better be covered in graffiti 100% of the time

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  6. Nick

    at least they are doing something artist oriented but still a shame. money rules the world. WE DONT NEED MORE PEOPLE IN THE CITY

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  7. Frozen94

    This indeed sucks. Affordable housing?!?!? To who? The already rich? Yeh ok.

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  8. Mike Novak

    The Bloombergering of NYC. How freakin' sad.

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  9. Really?

    Are you people nuts? This is not a publicly owned space. Its privately owned in AMERICA. This is a free society. The owners were nice enough to allow all the graffiti, all these years out of the goodness of their heart. On their privately owned property. WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE TO OBJECT IN A WAY THAT COSTS THE OWNERS MONEY TO DO WHAT THEY WANT WITH THEIR OWN PROPERTY. What a bunch of losers. I hope you all never own anything. Or if you do I hope others interfere with your rights!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  10. Anonymous

    Really???? It's time to wake up! Like we need more towers! This is the beginning of the end.

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  11. does it really matter what my name is?

    No we are not nuts. It's a ICON of Queens. So it's privately owned. Big woop de doo. Out of the goodness of their heart? Yea ok, don't make me laugh. Have you seen the place and the poor shape it's in.

    Who the hell we are? Who the hell are you to talk to others like this? It's NOT costing them money. If they cared about that property they would have done something years ago. Sounds like they received a offer they couldn't refuse.

    Hope we never own anything? Do me a favor, rethink what you said. Become more of a human being and keep your mouth shut. We the people have the RIGHT to voice our opinions when it comes to OUR community.

    This is only the beginning, I'm sure they'll try to knock down many more places for more apartments that honestly aren't needed. Oh and are considered 'affordable' as well.

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  12. Joe

    The owner of the property has the right to do what He or She wants they paid for it. At least they left space available for artist which they don't have to do. Can't hate the owner for allowing people to paint on the building for so long. Also as much as people hate on the owner or owners its damn hard to own a building or a business especially in NY. It comes with great sacrifice that most people are not willing to do. So easy to criticize but you have to see the owners perspective. Just my opinion.

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  13. Yep

    I had an artist studio in this space for the last 2 years. Although it was amazing on the outside the inside was a mess. Im suprised the building didnt fall in on itself.

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  14. Mark

    holy shit you guys act like graffitid buildings are a good thing. Graffiti is illegal, and highly graffitid areas are a worldwide symbol for poor, hoodlum type neighborhoods.

    The people who want new buildings are hipsters? More like the graffiti lovers are the hipsters.
    Oh no I'm a fucking "street art appreciating" hipster so let's save this shitty graffitid builidng so that way we don't have to build taller, cleaner, efficient, housing!

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  15. really, really?

    Can you read? Or do you just think everyone is always reffering to whatever pisses you off?

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  16. Graffiti artist

    Hello Really, you are formal completely right. But since graffiti is a movement that sees lack of maintenance as an artistic opportunity, on this particular place something beautiful has grown. In stead of a crappy warehouse with no extra value for New York, this place has become a attraction for (street) artists, commuters, tourists and especially hipsters. It is a place of expression, inspiration and a temple for hiphop in New York. I personally blame the council of New York rather than the owner of the lot because the council should take responsibility for the loss of a unique attraction in Queens. i can imagine there will be not much in common with the atmosphere of the new studios and the current situation. In 2011 a dream came true for me to paint on the roof of this beatiful place, this will now remain as a memory of the past. Rest in Peace 5 pointz, peace to meres and marie and the crew. Once again the value of culture is underestimated for the power of money.

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  17. REALLY???

    Are you serious? Just because you have the right to do something doesn't mean it's gonna be positive for the community...that's exactly what tearing down 5pointz represents to the worldwide Hip-Hoppers. NYC is the birthplace of this Hip-Hop ish.

    Bush had the right to declare war, so does Obama. Following your logic, who are you to object to anything that doesn't directly relate to you? Obviously you have zero sense of any kind of Hip-Hop related education, leaving your comment as empty as if you were talking from your rear.

    Furthermore, a lot of these brothers and sisters protesting are actually from the borough, who the hell do you think they are to not be allowed to object? THIS IS AMERICA, FREEDOM IS NOT ONE WAY. I will protest w/e I want to as a citizen of this country, and hopefully you will take measures to ensure your growth of maturity and expansion of mind.

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  18. Fatima

    Someone needs to fin the headquarters of these developers and cover it in graffiti!

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  19. Caroline Caldwell

    What a shame. This is the destruction of a landmark. This is a real loss for both the art community as well as New York City. Well, it was an absolute privilege to experience 5Pointz in the flesh and get to know the amazing people who curate it.

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  20. To The Dumb F*** Above Me...

    Wish the worst upon yourself, you piece of shit.

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  21. yes!

    @Really? - Cities are built with private money and yes there are rights for developers to develop their own land but they city is a cultural mix some building deserve to be deemed important and/ or historic for the greater good of the city. That how there is approval for tearing down building in New York. The problem is New York has become too friendly to the tear down of the city. There are plenty of vacant lots they could use to build in that area. Plenty of shit they could tear down and nobody would blink an eye.

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  22. re: Really?

    blah blah blah blah

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  23. Anonymous

    To the person above me, raise your voice AFTER you've been, interacted, and experience 5Points, it's curator (Meres One), and your loving private owner. Scream private to the public and see who hears you. I for one am heart broken but would love to live where greatness stood. Not to gloat in what once was but to ensure its beautiful revelry is continued long after its gone. #tagthis

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  24. Dusty

    That's a damn shame, i've been over to NY from London many times to visit 5Pointz.
    Graffiti is synonymous with New York, 5Pointz is synonymous with Graffiti thus another reason to visit New York will be gone.
    Regardless of the fact that New Yorkers like it or not, it is the epicentre of a movement that is now worldwide, touching probably every country in the world.
    Every time i come over there's people from all over the world displaying their art.
    The locals might now have their 'affordable' housing but you'll lose probably a thousand or so visitors to New York.
    Having travelled extensively the name 5Pointz is known all over the world as an icon in New York, also when i'm there the subway trains that screech past have faces against the glass peering at the new art works that go up on a daily basis!
    Sometimes buildings aren't just bricks and mortar, they have an essence, an energy, that won't be there anymore.
    5Pointz RiP

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  25. Tai

    "Really", I hope you win the Darwin Awards.

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  26. Really???

    Your nuts, privatisation is ruining this world. capitalism controls democracy.
    People with your attitude are the problem. Interfere with your rights?? Its the community thats having there rights disregarded for cash.

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  27. LGone

    That's a fucking shame..those motherfuckers do whatever it takes to Permanently Take graffiti off the society.
    You can't Never do that fucking Assholes who says that we live in democracy and force us to do what they say.
    LONG LIVE GRAFFITI :)

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  28. Nunya Bidness

    Thank god; what an eyesore.

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  29. Sickened by This Betrayal

    Bloomberg and his cronies can't make anything but money. That warehouse was worth NOTHING all these years--the owner put nothing into it and evidently lost nothing or he would have sold it--until artists made the neighborhood a place if inestimable value.

    He is making a profit off the work poor artists put into the place all these years. He is nothing but a leech, using money to suck the life blood out of everyone around him.

    Remember what they said, it is harder for a rich man to get into heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle. He is so engorged on the value other people created he can not see straight.

    He created nothing. He just consumes. And since I am Catholic I call that more than a shame, I call it a sin. The kicker is, you have to pray for your enemies. That is a tough one. Otherwise you are as bad as they are.

    And the pro-business mayor is destroying 200 small business in Willets Point for the same friends of his. The Vampire Squid is consuming Queens and our politicians pose for pictures with them.

    "They say you want a revolution. . . ."

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  30. Time's Up

    Sad to see 5 Pointz go. But at least I can get a good laugh out of people seriously discussing "hipsters," as if that were an actual group of people rather than shorthand for whomever people don't like.

    Hipsters are responsible for tearing down 5 Pointz!
    Hipsters are crybabies for resisting the tear-down of 5 Pointz!
    Hipsters are poor white kids from the midwest!
    Hipsters are rich trust-funded white kids from the east coast!
    Hispters are poor artists who support graffiti!
    Hipsters are culture-less bores who hate graffiti!
    Hipsters are destroying NYC culture!
    Hipsters are the only ones trying to preserve NYC culture!

    Hence my repeated insistence that every comment including that word be banned, as it is such a useless catchall term with no fucking meaning whatsoever. Come on Christian! Hitler references do less to de-rail discussions than this hipster bullshit.

    And by the way Mark, although yours wasn't the only dumb comment, you do get a star for its exceptional stupidity. Graffiti per se is neither legal nor illegal. The graffiti that happened to be on 5 Pointz was sanctioned, and thus, legal. Happens to be beautiful too, but of course that's just my opinion, which happens to be shared by millions of others apparently.

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  31. Kenny

    Capitalism at its best

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  32. Square BallZ

    @Time's Up:

    You're 100% right, we shouldn't use the word 'hipsters'. 'Pieces of shit' will do just fine. Go smoke a dick in Williamsburg you pompous, arrogant, out-of-state A-hole.

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  33. EA

    This is a icon of queens! A place where people all over the world would come to show their art. A place of movie making.
    The owner is a greedy sun of a ____. He already owns about a quater of LIC! As far as I know there were millioners as far as Japan willing to buy this place and fix it up!
    You kid yourself if you think anything there will be affordable.

    With that said. When is the human chain starting?

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  34. Ro

    I think the people that oppose the tear down of 5Pointz went at it all wrong. It is inevitable that the owner has the right to tear down this property and build to the "as of right" zoning the site currently has. This is his undeniable right and any court will side with the owner. However, the owner was seeking additional FAR. Instead of insisting that the building stay intact they should have lobbied for the current shell to stay up and the new building be built above and around it. They should have also insisted that they hire a real architect as oppose the awful design they currently have, all in return for increasing the FAR. The funny thing is that if the owner is able to pull off a great design that integrates this "landmark" with his new building it will only add value to his property.

    It is sad to see this place go, but it would be sadder to see a citizen's rights trampled on by the masses.

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  35. So what

    I'm glad to see this "thing" come down. It's been an eyesore. I've lived roughly 2 miles away from that towering chunk of crap for 21 years and I'm happy they are tearing it down. None of you will stop this from happening, offering opinions and bickering like middle school kids like it will make a difference won't do anything. You're just all a bunch of screen-and-keyboard thugs. Get over it.

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  36. jason

    Good Riddance!

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  37. Anonymous

    I've lived in this neighborhood for a few years, and I think one of the main reasons why 5pointz was such a marvel was the very fact that 1 stop of manhattan you had a wild graffiti jungle.

    The main point of graffiti is its wild anti-establishment nature and the volatility of art that comes on like wild grass, is mowed away, and then reappears somewhere else.

    The supporters of keeping this warehouse "established" as a place for permanent graffiti is ironic then.

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  38. jan-michael

    Can hipsters be the children of poor immigrants?

    I'd like a membership to the hipster club

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  39. Anonymous

    If the supporters of 5pointz want to make permanent and institutionalize graffiti, then they are the epitome of "hipster" i.e., ironic.

    Furthermore name calling others as "hipsters" when you are the hipster yourself, is itself also ironic, and very well played, the irony inside the irony.

    If graffiti should live in its truest form, then whether it is an abandoned building or a sparkling new high rise, "grafitti"-on you brave artistic soldier against the establishment! But please do not become the new establishment.

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  40. Bill

    Make the space a park with giant stones to decorate.

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  41. jan-michael

    I hate all the hipsters moving to lic, I liked Queens before it was cool

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  42. Time's Up

    Hey Square Ballz, I don't think you understood my point. Perhaps you should read it another dozen times or so and perhaps it'll come clear.

    And I didn't know that having a relatively decent command of written English makes one pompous and arrogant.

    Oh, and I grew up and lived in Woodside, Sunnyside, and LIC my entire life. Which, if any, of those neighborhoods are out of state? I see you're on a roll.

    Any more nonsense, false suppositon, and weird misplaced anger to add to this fun comment thread?

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  43. Hilarious

    Well, as long as the rich people have somewhere to live! We all know how hard it is for rich people to find apartments here in NYC....

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  44. Anonymous

    So strange, that when development and condos are written about, people rant on about 'hipsters'. These 'hipsters' can't afford places in these new developments. These are for bankers, lawyers, and other well paid business people, who are much older than 'hipsters'.

    I would invite the people on here ranting about hipsters, to change their rant to, there are less and less places for artist, dancers, writers, musicians, painters to live, which is the cultural backbone of what makes all of New York a vibrant place to live. It is becoming a business hub, which is infinitely more boring, and lacking a soul.

    So whatever you have against 'hipsters' (who are usually artists, of the variety mentioned above) try to remember why New York is such an amazing place, and be careful what you wish for...

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  45. Pingback: Goodbye 5 Pointz - City-Data Forum

  46. invisible lean

    @really...are you a friggin idiot...yea you are...you probably support billions of dollars of government subsidies to the oil industry so they can make even more billions of dollars while paying no taxes polluting our planet..fools like kill this planet...now go be a good republican and go kill some more innocent little children attending elementary school with your legal guns..friggin idiot

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  47. WILLIAM TBB HIGHTOWER

    THEY CAN TEAR DOWN HISTORY BUT THERE CAN NEVER STOP THE MOVEMENT,,

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  48. AX ONE

    Let me tell you...I am one of the more notable street/train bombers since the 80's. people should be happy that the OWNERS of the property allowed graffiti to be done there for a day let alone many years. It's THEIR property and was bought with the main idea, like all RE investment property, with a PROFIT to be made. So they have found a way to realize the profit in their wise investment that was VERY risky at the time they made it. So all of you who who ARE NOT entrepreneurs or know about capitalism, don't open your mouth.You don't even begin to know the entire picture and don't have the capacity to. So go get me a hamburger and a side of fries.Mental ungrateful midgets that you are.

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  49. EulogyToAGreatCity

    Another step in the gentrification of New York City, and once again I'm not sure I like it. I don't protest that having a new apartment building is a good thing and affordable living spaces are hard to come by in the city. However, I lament the fact that my NYC is disappearing. What makes New York City the greatest city in my opinion, is the historical and cultural roots sunk deep into all aspects of life, from people to architecture. Don't we read cities by the buildings they have? I will miss old New York and watch as every borough is buried under the development of high rises. I watched as landmarks, such as the Battery Tunnel, Lincoln Tunnel, and Queensboro Bridge were rebranded by the names of people who were "great". How will this be different?

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  50. Graffiti Writer

    Graff should be illegal. Shame to see it go, but Graff should be illegal.
    I hit the BMTs in B'klyn. in the very early 80s when I was a kid.

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  51. Queens Resident

    What about the Older Generations whose mark remains on the currently sight and the sight alone. It can not be replicated amd how long will the walls on thisnew. Building be allowed for, the first year? These are words, sentences, phrases used to buy us and having us give them the stamp of approval but it will never be the same. Damn yuppies ruin everything, our culture, our dance our music. Can't pretend to be in it, you have to live it. Its graff but its also art and no one should deny that because at one time you believe that it was just that and that one time counts.

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  52. THE NYC Vidit

    This is a historic landmark, a piece of culture that directly influenced modern pop.

    >> It is not the birthplace of Hip Hop to those that said it above (that honor goes to my beloved BOOGIE DOWN BRONX) - but there was a direct relationship between Hip Hop's origins in the Bronx, and of course 5 Pointz. And for the record to Queens, don't forget your history.

    KRS-ONE announced THE BRIDGE IS OVER back in the 80s. So the young buck Queens kids talking about birthplace of Hip Hop need to revisit modern music and cultural history.

    Queens/Bronx rivalries aside, it is tragic to lose this monument. Curating artwork in the building is the antithesis of everything 5 Pointz stood for. Sorry, but it isn't a consolation prize or act of mercy by the developers.

    5 Pointz were a land of art - it wasn't the value dropping scribblings of "toys", but true legends and pioneers (and many current fantastic artists keeping graffiti alive and not commercializing it like Marc Ecko)

    That said, keep getting up...

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  53. Marco Ricco

    This place call to much attention in the last years so is normal some rich people see the opportunity.
    But instead of make of this place a cultural center as always expensive condos come to the mind of the investors...i can really show your how bad investment is this in profits....by the way i never be in Ny.
    I just study this city from 1986 when graffiti change my life and i decide to lear n the most i can to leave my roots on a Slum in Montevideo Uruguay....till i have the opportunity of work with people at high levels from Ny and assist to talks from Artists like Christo.
    Believe me Mr Condo Builder..you are loosing money.

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  54. S

    "The developers have also agreed to offer the 5 Pointz graffiti group the opportunity to curate the nearly 10,000 square feet of art panels & walls in the building."

    Oh, so the art will be private, for (mostly) wealthy people to enjoy...as opposed to art that everybody can see for free from the train. Fuck this shit and fuck city council.

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  55. Frank

    Ax One is NOT a train bomber. Anyone who appreciates graf or graffiti is not in favor of the destruction of their culture for a profit.

    Graf lovers should not be grateful or anything a private owner did. But I understand the desire to sell and make money off of your "investment."It'

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  56. LOg

    I started do dance and live the HH culture about 5 years ago,im from europe and i was planing to come next years to see it,the money will destroy this world and the culture as the story aswell....

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  57. The NYC Vidit

    @Frank: "Understand" feels weird saying, gives some odd form of legitimacy; comprehend (maybe) the financial factors at play and it makes my skin crawl.

    I also don't know how to express the disappointment, but thought we'd hear more noise from those part of the culture - a greater sense that this shouldn't happen.

    Maybe I'm too sentimental of back when a metropolis was covered in graffiti, colorful subway lines w/ local personality, and riding in between cars in the summer across the boroughs.

    May hap I'm an idiot; but this old kid from the Boogie Down, that remembers when the Bridge Ended and a man Ladies Love took down a Kool elder, is terribly upset. So much damn history there. FFS

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  58. The NYC Vidit

    You know, I feel like being an arse.

    How about we start picking some landmarks,

    * Old Quaker Meeting House
    * Mount fraking Rushmore
    * The San Jose Church
    * Fairbanks House
    * Newport Tower
    * James Blake House
    * Fort Niagara

    TEAR THEM ALL DOWN! Throw up some fancy modern real estate and we'll dedicate a remote hall to the landmark. "MOAR" Profit. We get revenue from a hiked up irrational rent from being on a landmark (New Silicon Valley baby, or wait a neo-Tokyo Williamsburg) AND revenue from silly tourists that still think they are experiencing the textile feel of the place.

    Win for all!

    Frak this noise.

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  59. Juicebox

    As the Hip Hop culture grew since 1970s, the 4 elements of hip hop are bboying, djing, mcing, and graffiti.

    Alot people say that they know what Hip Hop is and only think of Lil Wayne and Drake kind of shit.
    F*ck that shit. If you don't the 4 elements and act like you know what you are talking about...just shut it.
    There wouldnt be rappers if there were no bboys or the 4 elements of hiphop.
    NYC is tearing down a place where a culture became a worldwide influence. Who said graffiti is illegal? Why does it represent poverty?

    To Mark, I swear that there are graffiti artists that richer than you.
    Graffiti, or Hip Hop itself is an icon for self expression. This culture started in the ghetto and developed worldwide.
    Can you explain to me why this is hoodlum? Why this represents poverty?
    You calling me a hipster? Fine like i gave a fuck....But what i really care is that as time passes by, people are trying to get hold of this culture rather than sharing it to the ones who really need it. This culture is God's last chance to unite all race, differences, etc. in the name of love and respect. I don't care if this comment is gonna be taken down or be reported. Im telling what the NYC Council is doing. They are sure killing Hip Hop, a culture that inspired everyone worldwide. NYC Council is fucking up seriously.

    My last message to Mark......We Dont Give A Fuck if this is an icon of poverty, I dont give more fuck if this is like a hipster or ish. People like you......truly dont appreciate what real art is. Artists know what real art is. This place has been representing NYC big worldwide. This place symbolizes our struggle, love, and respect for a culture that can unite all race and religion with respect and love.

    Mark.....people like you destroy Hip Hop so I hope this shuts your fuckin big mouth.

    I'm done here. Peace and love and respect to the pioneers and legends for the Real Hip Hop culture.

    5POINTZ will persevere.

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  60. George Krassas

    May the host of Biggie Smallz forever haunt the new tenants.

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  61. Flowrex

    I understand that this land has been bought and it is the owners prerogative to do what they will with their property and this is a business desicion where they need to see a return.

    It is still really unfortunate though that they either understand the significance of the site world wide, have under estimated it's importance or actually as I suspect the graff just doesn't have the same value to them.

    The site is in my mind a world heritage site of modern times and represents the most powerful culture in today's society for all of the people and races it has connected worldwide through art (something spoken about more by alien ness the famous New York Bboy) I totally agree with his viewpoint on how it has changed the world, it connects more people than government and national multicultural initiatives on the basis that we connect through art from our own choice and we choose to partake in this cross culture/cross race, age, sex, creed platform through our own initiative and love for what we do, peace, love,unity and having fun.

    Hip hop is one of New York's and America's gift to the world and this site in particular is a Mecca and a beacon for world travellers who attend pilgrimages to New York (I do it annually) to birthplace of a culture which has connected us all and given many of us a voice and outlet for art.

    Whilst occupying Wall Street meant a lot to people occupy 5 pointz would not be a bad thing to attempt, continuos graff, breaking, dj's and mc's. Isn't there a way to have squatters rights in the USA.

    Anyway sorry for going on so much it's just a shame to see in this day and age that our art whilst used by commercial brands and governments as a vehicle for their messages to the hip hop generations the same brands and government do not have our back on this, it shows that their apparent interest is actually more of a superficial interest time limited to the amount of control or money they can derive from it. Everyone using our art for their own means commercially should be getting involved and having our back in this one. I wonder whether anyone will interject?

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  62. Attila_the_Pun

    Just what we need, another ugly high rise blocking out the sky.

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  63. Guest

    DEVELOPER PLEASE HIRE A WORLD CLASS ARCHITECT OR AT LEAST A CREATIVE ONE!!!!

    The design you have now is embarrassing and subpar.

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  64. Goose

    I would hope that PS-1 Being right down the street would be taking some of those panels off of the building with the Artwork.
    These could easily be transported to different locations and nearby city parks. God knows there are plenty of art spaces and old warehouse buildings in LIC that are out of use There are also plenty of art locations these could be housed fore everyone to see. . Like Socrates Sculpture Park, Reiny Park , Gantry Plaza

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  65. SirPreiss

    I'm from Germany and visited NY in September 2013. Witnessing 5Pointz was awesome to me and one of the greatest moments ever.

    Here in Germany graffiti is apprechiated as art. In New York - the cradle of graffiti art - I soon got the feeling this appreciation is gone everywhere. But at 5Pointz the spirit was still alive.

    For those who understand German here's an article I wrote about it:
    http://sirpreiss.wordpress.com/2013/10/10/special-5-pointz-in-queens-ny

    I hope 5Pointz will live on in any other form. The former idea of a graffiti museum should still be an option.

    Regards,
    SirPreiss

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  66. Karen Ng

    Agreeing with the comments above. Buiilding another soul less skyrise means NYC loses a landmark that makes new york city the place it is! Regardless of what you "let" them curate or good intentions to provide "affordable" housing or artist studios (c'mon who are they kidding!) These realtors and politicians are only seeing short term dollar signs and ignoring a piece of history that people from all over the world come to see! (Im from New Zealand and came to NYC because it is the birthplace of Hip Hop). 5 Pointz carries an important cultural LEGACY of Hip Hop, one which has united artists, dancers and musicians from all nations and cultures!

    Long Term LIC can make more money from preserving the history and culture of what makes this an important historical place, highlighting and restoring art and culture rather than "modernising" everything so that one city is indistinguishable from the next. There will no longer be a reason for me to bring/recommend ANYONE to go to LIC!

    I hope the "new" building gets graf all over it.... its so ugly anyway, you can tell they just wanna make a quick dollar out of the expense of an iconic monument.

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  67. Nydia

    There are ENOUGH condos and expensive places to live in NY. LEAVE 5PTZ ALONE!!!!!

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  68. Attila_the_Pun

    The politicians have been bought off.

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  69. Dumer

    I can certainly understand the sadness and outrage felt by the hip hop community at the loss of a cultural icon, but some points:

    1. There's no active intention to shut down/break/what-have-you the hip hop culture here. If there were, a more effective way to do so would be for outlets such as iTunes and record labels to simply drop hip hop music and for Hollywood to stop producing movies like Step Up and such.

    2. As many have pointed out, this simply is a money-making move. No more, no less.

    3. Hoping that the property owner leave it alone in the interest of cultural preservation is a pipe dream if he bought it for millions. A better solution would have seen the richer members of the hip hop community buy the property for themselves and maintained it as-is for the preservation of the culture's history. Hip hop has made many individuals very wealthy, so I'm not sure why they didn't step in to save 5 Pointz. They probably still can, with the right offer to the owner (seriously, Jay-Z can buy it on his own).

    4. That the community has forced the owner's hand to provide more affordable units and a bigger artists' space can already be seen as victories, considering that even a celebrity-tweeted petition to save 5 Pointz failed to garner the 50,000 signatures it was seeking.

    5. At the very least, people should ask that a whole wall section be preserved and moved elsewhere for preservation purposes. Even if the original building is long gone, part of it still lives on and preserved. Or if that's not possible, take pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. So future generations would still have a remembrance of 5 Pointz.

    Personally, I'm sad to see it go. I haven't the money yet to visit 5 Pointz, but I was planning to go.

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  70. Dumer

    "Sickened by This Betrayal": Your comment doesn't make any sense. The property owner would've allowed the artists to keep doing what they do and kept 5 Pointz alive if those artists of yours actually brought in financial value to the owner. No right-minded businessman would tear down something that brings them solid profit margins.

    I won't argue that those artists brought in cultural value (they did, and they're great artists), but I have to question the financial value they put in.

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  71. Really?

    I am truly amazed at the ignorance of some people here. Those that oppose allowing someone who owns a property to exercise their right to do with their own building is insane. The building is of zero historical value or it would have been land marked like so many other buildings in the city. It is a regular warehouse that the owners allowed people to spray paint. This was very cool of them to allow that. So now they deserve to be harassed when they want to exercise their right to do what they want with their own property?

    That really moronic!!!!

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  72. Really?

    Those that oppose allowing someone who owns a property to exercise their right to do what they please, with their own building is insane

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  73. Mari Lyn

    Please sign my petition to stop the demolition of 5 pointz!!!

    http://chn.ge/19Ku8q2

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  74. Banvir Chaudhary

    Most of you morons will love to live in those condos or have a studio.
    This is a knee jerk reaction of people who do not take responsibility for the city to function. It is the working stiffs who make it possible for artistic type to live. Any thoughts?

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  75. Pingback: I'm becoming increasingly critical of gentrification - Urban, city, town planning, land use, zoning, transportation and transit, environmental issues, urban design, community development, subdivisions, revitalization - Page 19 - City-Data Forum

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Latest News

Queens Plaza/Court Square developers may be REQUIRED to build affordable units should rezoning occur

QueensPlaza1

Jan. 29, By Christian Murray

The Department of City Planning is likely to make it mandatory for developers to build affordable housing in the Court Square and Queens Plaza areas should it rezone the district.

The department is currently studying the area to determine whether it should upzone the district as a means to promote affordable housing as well as commercial activity—such as light manufacturing.

The agency is currently reviewing about 100 streets that include Queens Plaza (from Queensbridge Houses to Northern Boulevard) and parts of Court Square. It is also reviewing neighboring sections of Jackson Ave. and Northern Boulevard.

The concept of implementing a mandate requiring developers to include affordable units would be unique– since no other New York City neighborhood has done so, said John Young, the director of the Queens Office of City Planning. The idea is a departure from standard policy where developers are provided with “incentives” to build affordable units–such as allowing them to build slightly bigger buildings.

Therefore, while the Queens Plaza/Court Square proposal is likely make way for larger buildings, the change would also guarantee more affordable units.

“It would be a requirement that a portion [of the building] would have to be affordable,” said John Young, the director of the Queens office of City Planning, who is reviewing the concept.

Young said that the department will be having meetings with stakeholders this winter to discuss the concept–as well as other issues. Such stakeholders include members of community board 2, civic associations, cultural groups and the Long Island City Partnership, he said.

Young said that by late spring the department is likely to come up with the results of its analysis and would then present a preliminary proposal to stakeholders in summer.

He said by fall a proposal would must likely go out for public discussion.

Young said the study comes on the heels of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York proposal, which aims to create or preserve some 200,000 units of affordable housing over the next 10 years.

Furthermore, the study was prompted by a letter sent out by Community Board 2 last year that claimed that sections of Long Island City had turned into the Gold Coast and that there was greater need for affordable housing.

When the area was rezoned in 2001 the planning department had hoped to create a significant business district as well as housing. However, the business area has not grown to a level that it had hoped—while pricey buildings have gone up at a fast clip.

Therefore, the department is looking for ways to promote retail, office and light manufacturing.

Any rezoning would have to go through a lengthy process—including several public meetings—and various government bodies. It would ultimately need to be approved by the city council.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said that he is open to a rezoning. However, he said, that he would want to make sure that the infrastructure—such as schools—could handle a larger population.

These areas in color are part of the area being studied

These areas in color are part of the area being studied (New York City Planning)

 

 

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Elected officials to hold press conference at Hunters Point Library site, formally announce its construction
Initial rendering

Initial rendering

Jan. 28, By Christian Murray

A press conference will be held Thursday to announce the construction of the Hunters Point Library.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, library officials, local families and business owners will meet at Center Boulevard and 48th Avenue at 9:30 am to announce that the project has been funded and that construction will soon begin.

The 21,500-square-foot library will be located at Center Boulevard and 48th Avenue, next to Gantry Plaza State Park. The project will feature a reading garden, rooftop terrace, reading rooms for all ages, a gallery, performance space, a children’s area and sweeping views of the New York City’s skyline from the East River.

See previous story.

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Nolan announces that she wants Assembly Speaker job
Cathy Nolan

Cathy Nolan

Jan. 28, By Christian Murray

Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan announced today that she wants to be the next speaker of the New York State Assembly.

Nolan’s announcement came shortly after Sheldon Silver, the longtime leader of the assembly, agreed to give up the position he has held for 21 years as a result of federal corruption charges.

“I am formally announcing my candidacy for Speaker of the New York State Assembly,” Nolan wrote in a statement. “In my 30 year Assembly career I have conducted myself with honesty and integrity.”

Nolan would be the first woman to get the top job and it would result in Sunnyside and Long Island City being represented by two high-ranking officials: Nolan as speaker and Jimmy Van Bramer as New York City majority leader.

Nolan is one of a handful of names in the running for the speaker race, which include Majority Leader Joseph Morelle from Rochester, Bronx Assemblyman Carl Heastie, and Manhattan Assemblyman Keith Wright.

“Lost in the names that have been mentioned as potential candidates for Speaker is that of a woman,” Nolan wrote. “A woman has never served as Speaker of the Assembly.”

The letter indicated that Nolan would have little tolerance for legislators who sexually harassed their staffers.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said that he had talked to Nolan this morning. “She is a very serious contender and I can tell you she is very determined,” he said. She is not just floating her name out there, she is moving on this very decisively.”

Nolan has served on several committees during her tenure.

“I have extensive experience working with constituencies from all over our state, and have indeed ushered many proposals through both the budget process and the legislative process. Whether the issue is education, labor, mass transit or women’s issues, I have been at the forefront of the process,” Nolan wrote.

Nolan also wrote that she has never had a second job while working in the assembly.

“The people of New York State has been my only job – whether it be my own constituents, school children or working men and women in our state.”

Nolan is likely to get the support from Joseph Crowley, the head of Queens Democratic Party that would bring her the full 18-member assembly bloc of Queens.

“It is time for this institution to return to the high standards that the people of our state rightfully demand and expect. I stand ready to work with my colleagues to do just that for the people of the State of New York. They deserve nothing less,” Nolan wrote.

The new speaker is expected to be picked on Feb. 10.

statementfromassemblywomannolan-1 by sunnysidepost

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Brooklyn restaurant’s attempt to drum up LIC business gets mixed reaction
Ria Bella

Ria Bella

Jan. 28, By Christian Murray

A Brooklyn pizzeria is looking to take a bite out of Long Island City.

Residents of Hunters Point were mailed some promotional material earlier this month from a Greenpoint pizzeria that is looking to gobble up Long Island City market share.

The promotion—put out by Ria Bella (1049 Manhattan Avenue) –offers 20% off any delivery from western Queens residents.

The reception to the mailer so far has been mixed. Some residents welcome other eateries coming to Long Island City to compete. Others view it as poaching.

“I think [Ria Bella] is trying to reach out to the growing population in Long Island City,” said Jeremy Rosenberg, a 22-year-old resident and student with the CUNY School of Law.

“I like that businesses from other neighborhoods – and boroughs – are reaching out to me…but I hope that this does not crowd out new, local businesses from potentially opening up in LIC.”

However, one Long Island City business owner said that many Vernon Boulevard restaurants are finding it tough and outside competition just makes their situation worse.

Meanwhile, two residents were quick to point out that several Brooklyn eateries had crossed the Pulaski Bridge to reach Long Island City residents. Furthermore, this goes both way.

Tom Blaze, who opened the pizzeria Linizio on Vernon Boulevard in July, said that he was not concerned about Ria Bella’s campaign.

“As a resident of LIC for the past 50 years, I think it’s great that there are more varieties of restaurants to choose from,” Blaze said.

Other residents encouraged competition.

“When I first moved to LIC, I definitely didn’t look far past Vernon Blvd for dining options, so I appreciate a business in another borough reaching out,” said Jon Lechliter, a resident on Center Boulevard, who was happy to welcome the alternative.

Frank Sorrentino, the owner, said that Long Island City residents are starting to respond to his mailers.

“We have had a lot of orders from LIC since [our mailers went out]. After all, the average delivery time to Hunters Point is 25-30 minutes.”

Note: Ria Bella advertises with this site

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Tony Mazzarella, owner of Waterfront Crab House, passes away
Tony Mazzarelli

Tony Mazzarella

Jan. 27, By Michael Florio

Tony Mazzarella, the owner of the Waterfront Crab House, passed away on Sunday. He was 77.

Mazzarella, who lived in Rockland County, owned the Crab House, located at 2-03 Borden Avenue, for nearly 40 years.

Mazzarella, who was a prize fighter in his youth, built the Crab House into an iconic restaurant that was as well known for its seafood as it was for its sports and boxing memorabilia. He was known for his grit—having brought the restaurant back to life after it was savaged by Superstorm Sandy and a prior fire.

Mazzarella had been suffering from several long-term medical issues at the time of his death.

“He was a very kind-hearted man and is going to be greatly missed,” said Diane Ballek, the president of the 108 Police Precinct Council, who knew him for more than 20 years.

Mazzarella was known just as much for his charitable work as he was for his restaurant.

Every Christmas he would write out a check to the precinct council that would be used to buy presents for the needy, Ballek said. He donated $1,000 each year for 15 years. He would also donate food for various events.

“He didn’t boast about his community work; he did it because he loved the community,” Ballek said.

Ballek is confident that Mazzarella’s children will keep the restaurant going.

“The Waterfront Crab House will live on forever,” Ballek said. “I’m sure his family is going to keep it running the way he did.”

Joe Conley, the former chair of Community Board 2, said Mazzarella was an active supporter of cancer-fighting causes. He served as a member of the board of directors for the Queens division of the American Cancer Society.

“He was the co founder of the Patty Fund for Childhood Cancer where he helped raise tens of thousands of dollars for children being treated for childhood cancer,” Conley wrote in a Facebook post.

Many Long Island City residents were saddened by his loss.

“He was a wonderful person who did so much for the community. He is an irreplaceable loss,” said Brent O’Leary, President of the Hunter Point Civic Association, who had known Mazzarella for eight years.

“A little bit of LIC history is gone today and we offer our condolences to his family,” O’Leary said.

O’Leary said that Mazzarella would always offer the upstairs level at the Crab House for different organizations to use.

“He was a wonderful and caring person, and there should be more people like him,” said Teri Adams, a long-time resident who knew him since he opened the Crab House.

Mazzarella, a former boxer, was a member of the New York State Boxing Commission. He started the Golden Mittens boxing events to introduce sports to young kids as a way to encourage kids to stay away from drugs.

He is survived by his wife Robin and three children—Kris, Danny and Francesca–as well as two grandchildren.

The wake will be held at Pizzi Funeral Home, located at 120 Paris Ave, Northvale, New Jersey, this Thursday. Viewing will be held from 2 to 4 pm and 6 to 9 pm.

The funeral will be on Friday, 11 am, at Our Lady of Sacred Heart Church, located at 120 Kings Highway, Tappan, NY.

Crab House

Crab House

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LIC digs out after ‘historic’ storm

licsnow2

Jan. 27, Staff Report

The storm may not have lived up to the hype but Long Island City was still left with plenty of snow.

Here is some of the aftermath.

LICSnow

licsnow1

licsnow3

LICsnow5

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Fundraiser to create poetry prize in honor of cyclist killed on Vernon Blvd
Hoyt Jacobs

Hoyt Jacobs

Jan. 26, By Michael Florio

The friends and family of a writer who was killed while riding his bicycle in Long Island City earlier this month have started a fundraiser in his honor.

Hoyt Jacobs, a 36-year-old writer, poet and teacher, was killed after being struck by a sanitation truck at the intersection of Vernon Blvd and 41st Avenue on January 18th.

His friends and family are raising money so they can create the Hoyt Jacobs Poetry Prize, which would be awarded annually to a student who shows excellence in poetry at Queens College, Jacobs’ alma mater.

Jacobs received his Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) in poetry from Queens College. During his time at Queens College, he served as an adjunct professor for the English department.

The organizers of the fundraiser originally aimed to raise $3,000. However, in just five days there had been 113 donations, raising a total of $6,900.

The fundraiser can be found online at: http://www.gofundme.com/hoytprize.

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Cathy Nolan is being discussed as the next Assembly Speaker

Registry

Jan. 26, Staff Report

The Queens Democratic machine is starting to flex its muscles and is calling for Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan to be next speaker should Sheldon Speaker be toppled, according to the New York Observer.

Top officials with the Queens Democratic Party are calling Assembly members in Queens, Manhattan and Nassau County to support Nolan, who has represented Ridgewood, Sunnyside and Long Island City since 1984.

“Queens is calling around, taking the temperature. They’re pushing Nolan,” an Albany Democratic source to the Observer. “They are floating her in case Shelly is no longer speaker so there’s a quick transfer of power and the body can move on.”

Sources say the Queens machine’s three top deputies–Michael Reich, Frank Bolz and Gerard Sweeney–are calling legislators to figure out what kind of support exists for a potential Nolan candidacy, the Observer reports.

Nolan is reportedly close to Silver and the teachers union, the Observer reports. Nolan has also forged an alliance with Mayor Bill de Blasio, who may look to exert his influence over the city’s Assembly delegation if Silver leaves his post.

Support from Joseph Crowley, the head of the Queens Democratic Party, could mean the full 18-member bloc of Queens lawmakers in the Assembly’s 150 member body would vote for her.

Nolan is regarded as one of the shrewder lawmakers in the body, the Observer reports, and would be the first woman ever elected speaker in New York, no small significance to female Assembly members.

Nolan could not be reached for this article.

Meanwhile, Silver, who is trying to hang onto the speaker role as he fights federal corruption charges, is expected to announce today that the assembly will be jointly run by five Assembly Democrats—one of whom is Nolan.

The other four are Majority Leader Joseph Morelle (D-Rochester), Herman “Denny” Farrell (D-Manhattan), Joseph Lentol (D-Brooklyn) and Carl Heastie (D-Bronx).

Silver’s move will be deemed temporary, so he can focus on fighting the charges of kickbacks and corruption. However, there is still uncertainty as to whether Silver will be forced out.

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Brick building on 5th Street to be rehabbed, completion date set for summer 2016
47-33 5th Street

47-33 5th Street

25 January, By Christian Murray

A four-story building on 5th Street that sold for a whopping $12 million earlier this month is going to be rehabbed.

The property, located at 47-33 5th Street, is one of the last remaining brick buildings in Hunters Point and that is why the buyer paid a premium for it, real estate experts said.

“The beauty of that building is that it is one of the last of the Mohicans,” said Rick Rosa, a broker with Douglas Elliman who is overseeing the development. The property is located next to 5sl and kitty corner to Duane Reade.

The owner, Eunhasa Corp., plans to gut the building and then make room for about 15 apartments. The property will also have ground floor retail.

Rosa said that the building will be completed in about 18 months and the owner is still determining whether to go condo or rental.

He said that rental prices for studios and 1 brm apartments have reached a point where buying—based on mortgage costs–is only a little higher than renting. However, with two bedroom apartments typically selling for over $1 million, renting is a much more affordable option, Rosa said.

Meanwhile, the corner property on Vernon Blvd and 50th Avenue (49-18 Vernon Blvd) is expected to be completed by spring 2016. The plans call for 15 rental apartments with room for two or three retail spaces, Rosa said.

One of the retail spaces will be occupied by the Butcher Gourmet Deli. The owner of the deli , which is located next door at 49-16 Vernon Blvd, is a co-owner of the site.

49-18 Vernon Blvd

49-18 Vernon Blvd (completion date: spring 2016)

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More Headlines

Fundraiser to create poetry prize in honor of cyclist killed on Vernon Blvd
Hoyt Jacobs

Hoyt Jacobs

Jan. 26, By Michael Florio The friends and family of a writer who was killed while riding his bicycle in Long Island City earlier this month have started a fundraiser in his honor. Hoyt Jacobs, a 36-year-old writer, poet and teacher, was killed after being struck by a sanitation truck at the intersection of Vernon Blvd and 41st Avenue on January 18th. His friends and family are raising money so they can create the Hoyt Jacobs Poetry Prize, which would be awarded annually to a student who shows excellence in poetry at Queens College, Jacobs’ alma mater. Jacobs received his Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) in poetry from Queens College. During his time at Queens College, he served as an adjunct professor for the English department. The organizers of the fundraiser originally aimed to raise $3,000. However, in just five days there had been 113 donations, raising a total of $6,900. The fundraiser can be found online at: http://www.gofundme.com/hoytprize.
Cathy Nolan is being discussed as the next Assembly Speaker
Registry Jan. 26, Staff Report The Queens Democratic machine is starting to flex its muscles and is calling for Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan to be next speaker should Sheldon Speaker be toppled, according to the New York Observer. Top officials with the Queens Democratic Party are calling Assembly members in Queens, Manhattan and Nassau County to support Nolan, who has represented Ridgewood, Sunnyside and Long Island City since 1984. “Queens is calling around, taking the temperature. They’re pushing Nolan,” an Albany Democratic source to the Observer. “They are floating her in case Shelly is no longer speaker so there’s a quick transfer of power and the body can move on.” Sources say the Queens machine’s three top deputies–Michael Reich, Frank Bolz and Gerard Sweeney–are calling legislators to figure out what kind of support exists for a potential Nolan candidacy, the Observer reports. Nolan is reportedly close to Silver and the teachers union, the Observer reports. Nolan has also forged an alliance with Mayor Bill de Blasio, who may look to exert his influence over the city’s Assembly delegation if Silver leaves his post. Support from Joseph Crowley, the head of the Queens Democratic Party, could mean the full 18-member bloc of Queens lawmakers in the Assembly’s 150 member body would vote for her. Nolan is regarded as one of the shrewder lawmakers in the body, the Observer reports, and would be the first woman ever elected speaker in New York, no small significance to female Assembly members. Nolan could not be reached for this article. Meanwhile, Silver, who is trying to hang onto the speaker role as he fights federal corruption charges, is expected to announce today that the assembly will be jointly run by five Assembly Democrats—one of whom is Nolan. The other four are Majority Leader Joseph Morelle (D-Rochester), Herman "Denny" Farrell (D-Manhattan), Joseph Lentol (D-Brooklyn) and Carl Heastie (D-Bronx). Silver’s move will be deemed temporary, so he can focus on fighting the charges of kickbacks and corruption. However, there is still uncertainty as to whether Silver will be forced out.
Brick building on 5th Street to be rehabbed, completion date set for summer 2016
47-33 5th Street

47-33 5th Street

25 January, By Christian Murray A four-story building on 5th Street that sold for a whopping $12 million earlier this month is going to be rehabbed. The property, located at 47-33 5th Street, is one of the last remaining brick buildings in Hunters Point and that is why the buyer paid a premium for it, real estate experts said. “The beauty of that building is that it is one of the last of the Mohicans,” said Rick Rosa, a broker with Douglas Elliman who is overseeing the development. The property is located next to 5sl and kitty corner to Duane Reade. The owner, Eunhasa Corp., plans to gut the building and then make room for about 15 apartments. The property will also have ground floor retail. Rosa said that the building will be completed in about 18 months and the owner is still determining whether to go condo or rental. He said that rental prices for studios and 1 brm apartments have reached a point where buying—based on mortgage costs--is only a little higher than renting. However, with two bedroom apartments typically selling for over $1 million, renting is a much more affordable option, Rosa said. Meanwhile, the corner property on Vernon Blvd and 50th Avenue (49-18 Vernon Blvd) is expected to be completed by spring 2016. The plans call for 15 rental apartments with room for two or three retail spaces, Rosa said. One of the retail spaces will be occupied by the Butcher Gourmet Deli. The owner of the deli , which is located next door at 49-16 Vernon Blvd, is a co-owner of the site.
49-18 Vernon Blvd

49-18 Vernon Blvd (completion date: spring 2016)

Big chunk of Court Square hits the market for $41.5m
Court Square Assemblage Jan. 23, By Michael Florio A giant size parcel in the heart of Court Square has gone on the market with an asking price of $41.5 million. The parcel represents an amalgam of seven properties located across the street from the Citigroup Tower. The parcel is being marketed as “The Court Square Assemblage,” since six adjoining landlords are collectively selling their townhouse buildings. The property is being marketed in tandem by the Corcoran Group and Modern Spaces. The “Court Square Assemblage” is 11,145 square feet, according to a Modern Spaces. With zoning, a developer has 167,000 square feet of build able area. The parcel is zoned for office, retail and mixed use development, according to Modern Spaces. The portfolio of properties has only been on the market for three days. The buildings are located at 23-10 45th Ave.; 45-03 23rd Street; 45-05 23rd Street; 47-03 23rd Street; 23-14 45th Ave.; and 23-16 45th Avenue. The sites are near CUNY Law School and are in an area where more than 10,000 new and in-development luxury housing units are located. For more information, please click here. .
Two cops receive award for saving LaGuardia professor’s life
Officer Sarro and Officer Caldarera

Officer William Caldarera and Officer Corey Sarro

Jan. 23, By Christian Murray Two officers from the 108th received an award this week after being deemed heroes for saving the life of a LaGuardia professor last month. Police Officers Corey Sarro and William Calderera were on routine patrol on Tuesday, Dec. 23, when they discovered a professor on the pavement outside the college. The elderly professor had suffered from a heart attack and was not breathing when the officers arrived. He was lying motionless and he did not have a heartbeat. The two officers went into action. Officer Sarro began performing chest compressions while Officer Calderea retrieved a defibrillator. After two attempts to resuscitate the professor, they were able to revive him. EMS then transported the professor to Elmhurst General Hospital in stable condition. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and Mayor Bill de Blasio awarded the officers with a Proclamation on behalf of the city council for saving the professor’s life.
LIC: A strange caricature of a religious Muslim draws plenty of hate
anti-muslim Jan. 21, By Christian Murray A strange caricature of a religious Muslim accompanied by the words Je Ne suis Pas Charlie—has been placed on Jackson Avenue near the Court Square Diner. The slogan Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie (I am Not Charlie) is a term adopted by some people following the massacre of 12 people at the French publication Charlie Hebdo. These people viewed Charlie Hedbo as a distasteful publication in the way it portrayed Muslims and other groups. The sign, however, has several anti Muslim messages scribbled on it...such as "Islam stones women to death..." and "Muslims kill homo-sexuals." The messages may have been written by a passerby who took exception to the poster. . muslim  
Van Bramer issues annual report–with focus on pedestrian safety, Citi Bike and arts/culture
1_7_CharterMeeting Jan. 21, By Christian Murray When he’s asked the tough questions, he typically doesn’t duck for cover. What are your thoughts on 5Pointz? Private property, he responds. Does it make sense to build over the Sunnyside Yards? Absolutely not. Do you believe in term limits for community board members? Of course. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who darts from event-to-event, isn’t known for hedging his bets. Instead he is direct, fast on his feet, and very self assured. It is this self confidence that leads him to release an annual self assessment—or report card—every January. It is a rare concept, since few-- if any-- other council members do it. “I like people to know what I’m doing,” Van Bramer often says, who believes that his constituents have the right to know. “I don’t ever want anyone asking 'What does he do?''” The 15-page report states in large font: “16,554 and counting” referring to the number of constituent cases Van Bramer and his staff have handled during the five years he has been in office. Furthermore, it says that in 2014 he served on six committees—including as chair of Cultural Affairs and Libraries--and had a “95.3% attendance record.” Van Bramer said that he has laid the groundwork for a number of Long Island City projects that will come to fruition this year. Construction of the Hunters Point Library, which has been bogged down in red tape, is expected to begin this spring. Citi Bike, which has been plagued with problems, will finally be coming to Long Island City, and a segregated bicycle lane on the Pulaski Bridge will be built. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood, which he funded to the tune of $750,000, is expected to open in Court Square this year—its first branch in Queens. “Many of these unveilings could all happen at once…which would make for an exciting time,” Van Bramer said. However, he couldn’t predict with certainty the timing of these events. “We don’t have a firm date as to when Citi Bike will be here…but I expect to have the bikes here in the warm weather,” Van Bramer said. He said that there will be 10 docking stations in Long Island City and Queensbridge with more than 1,000 bikes. The construction of the segregated bike lane on the Pulaski Bridge is expected to begin in the first half of 2015, he said, with completion toward the end of the year. There have been delays, he said, but he has been assured of this timetable by Dept. of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. Van Bramer said that 16% of constituent calls involve transportation issues--from public transportation to signage on streets. He said that in 2014 he helped combat problems such as the dangerous traffic conditions on Center Blvd and 5th Street. He said that he applied pressure on the DOT that led to stop signs going up on Center Blvd at 48th and 49th Avenues--as well as made sure that 5th Street  was converted to a one-way street with speed bumps. “People are concerned about the safety of their kids and families,” Van Bramer said. “There are two parks, two schools and thousands of people who live nearby.” Van Bramer is a staunch supporter of Vision Zero and was an early advocate for the arterial slow zones on Northern and Queens Blvds. Furthermore, he sponsored the “Justice for Hit and Run Victims Act,” a law that recently went into effect that imposes a lofty civil penalty on drivers who flee the scene of an accident.
2014 Expansion of Doe Fund

2014 Expansion of Doe Fund

Van Bramer said that he continues to push ahead with quality of life issues. He said that a dedicated crew of workers are cleaning sections of Long Island City through the Doe Fund. The Doe Fund program started in Hunters Point in 2013 and was expanded to incorporate a wider area in 2014. It was brought to Dutch Kills last year. Van Bramer said that it's proven to be a success and he plans to continue funding it. Van Bramer, who was named Majority Leader at the beginning of last year, said that the position allows him to be a better advocate for the district. For instance, he said, he was in a better position to be able to reach out to the administration in December to let it be known that the Pepsi sign should not lose its place on the “Landmarks Preservation calendar.” Van Bramer is politically ambitious and does not hide it. He said that he will definitely run for city council one last time in 2017. He would not comment if he had Council speakership goals in mind—or whether a city-wide office would come after that. “The council speakership was determined over a period of a few weeks [Dec. 2013] so it is way too far away to start thinking about that,” Van Bramer said. “And then another four years after that…anything could happen by then.” For a full copy of Van Bramer's report, Please click here .
Construction of Hunters Point Library expected to begin this spring
Hunters Point Library location

Hunters Point Library location

Jan. 20, By Christian Murray A ground breaking on the Hunters Point Library could happen as early as this spring. The city has the funding it needs to start construction, according to Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer. “The funding problem has been solved so we can begin construction,” Van Bramer said, although he added that he will have to add funding midway through the 2-year project. “Hopefully there will be shovels in the ground …and I would hope we could begin construction in the first half of this year.” Construction of the library, which will be built at Center Blvd/48th Ave (next to Gantry Plaza State Park) was expected to begin in 2013. However, there have been several delays due to the inability of the city to find a contractor willing to build it for the $28.6 million that had been allocated. The bids came in ranging from $33 million to $42 million and the city had to do some value engineering in order to find a construction company that could build it within budget. Officials said that they had to get rid of some of the more elaborate features to reduce the cost by about $5 million. They included replacing the aluminum exterior facade with cement and glass; forgoing custom interior fixtures; and going without the geothermal well system. However, the library will feature a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the city skyline, a garden, a gallery, a conference room, a computer center and youth and teen spaces.  The 21,500 square-foot facility will be largely a glass and cement structure. Van Bramer said that while there was some value engineering, the changes would be merely cosmetic. “I think the project that will ultimately be built will be architecturally significant and a spectacular addition to the Hunters Point Community.” Meanwhile, Mark Christie, who is the president of the Friends of Hunters Point Library, said: “I see this as the crown jewel of the Queens Library system." “It’s a beacon for the community—an inspiration for people, which will be a great community center especially as Hunters Point grows,” Christie said.
Initial rendering

Initial rendering

Large piece of 5th Street property sells, next to 5sl
47-33 5th Street

47-33 5th Street (GMAPs)

Jan. 20, By Christian Murray A large piece of Hunters Point real estate sold earlier this month—next to 5Sl and cater-corner with Duane Reade. The property, 47-33 5th Street, sold for $12 million and the transaction was filed with the city Friday. The purchaser was Eunhasu Corp., an Elmhurst based real estate firm. The four-story industrial building is zoned for residential development. In 2009, the previous owner, 47-33 5th Street Corp, filed plans with the Building Department to construct a six-story structure with 14 units. The property had been bought by that firm in 2003 for $2.25 million, according to city records. The chief executive of Eunhasu is Kyu Heung Park.
Bicyclist dead after being hit by truck at intersection of 41 Ave. and Vernon Blvd.
Vernon and 41st Avenue (GMAPs)

Vernon and 41st Avenue (GMAPs)

Jan. 18, By Christian Murray A bicyclist was struck and killed by a truck at the intersection of Vernon Boulevard and 41st Avenue Saturday, according to police. The 36-year-old victim was hit by a private sanitation truck at 5:13 pm as the driver turned east onto 41st Avenue from Vernon Blvd. Police and EMS arrived on the scene and found the victim lying on 41st Avenue unconscious and unresponsive. He was pronounced dead. The victim was identified as Hoyt Jacobs of Bushwick. The driver of the truck remained on the scene. There have been no arrests although the police are still investigating the incident.
City looks at zoning change in Long Island City, WSJ reports
Linc-LIC-465x343 Jan. 16, Staff Report The city has preliminary plans to rezone a section of Long Island City—which would lead to further construction in what is already a crane-filled neighborhood. The Wall Street Journal reported today that the city is targeting Long Island City “along the East River and just north of the Long Island Expressway for a possible rezoning that would promote the construction around Queens Plaza of more high-rise apartment buildings, including ones with lower rents.” The Department of City Planning is about to conduct a study of 100 blocks around Queens Plaza, Court Square, Jackson Avenue and Northern Boulevard, the Journal reports. The new zoning would prioritize mixed-income housing, as well as potential growth for arts and tech industries. The first rezoning in 2001 led to 8,000 new units in the neighborhood, 20,000 more under construction, and a 5.9 percent rent increase over the past year, according to the Journal. The plans are in their early stages.
Source: LIC Partnership

Source: LIC Partnership

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