October 9, By Christian Murray
It’s official: The 5 Pointz graffiti icon will be coming down.
The application put forward by G&M Realty to demolish the site and erect 1,000 apartment units–370 more units than what is permitted under current zoning rules—was approved by the New York City Council this afternoon.
The council’s decision to approve the special zoning permit was influenced by an agreement struck between Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and the owners of G&M Realty, Jerry and David Wolkoff.
The Wolkoffs pledged to build and staff the buildings with union workers. Furthermore, they agreed to include 210 affordable apartment units—with a preference for local residents.
With the special zoning permit, the Wolkoffs are now able to develop two residential towers, one 47 stories high and the other 41 stories. They expect to demolish the graffiti mecca by the end of the year—and complete one of the towers by 2015.
The initial plan filed by G&M Realty in April did not include any affordable units. However, the Wolkoffs agreed to provide 75 affordable units following a meeting with Community Board 2 leaders in July—after the board rejected the plan.
The Wolkoffs entered into an agreement with Van Bramer last week to raise the number of affordable units to 210.
Wolkoff has agreed to build about 20 artists studios—up from the five that he initially proposed when he filed his plan in April. The amount of studio and gallery space equates to about 12,000 square feet. This space is expected to be available to local residents at reasonable rates.
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.
“The concessions provided under the compromise [with G&M Realty] will give Western Queens residents as well as artists a wide variety of interactive amenities future generations will benefit from,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said in a statement.
The development will include a public park that is over 32,000 square feet, 50,000 square feet of retail space and a 250 space public parking garage.