June 25, 2012 By Christian Murray
The 5 Pointz graffiti warehouse is likely to be demolished by September 2013 and replaced by two apartment buildings if the property owner’s plans are approved.
Last Wednesday, David Wolkoff, whose family owns the Long Island City property, attended a land use committee meeting at Community Board 2 in Woodside to provide an “information presentation” on the proposed development.
He told the committee that he planned to erect two residential towers that would contain 1,000 rental units. One tower would be 47 stories high, while the other 41 stories. As part of the development, there would be between 25,000 and 30,000 sqf. of retail space.
Wolkoff said that 55% to 60% of the rental units would be 1 bedroom apartments; 20% studios; and the balance, 2 bedroom or loft-style apartments. At this point, the apartments will be rented at market rate, which is at about $30 per sqf., Wolkoff said.
The development will include walls that graffiti artists can use to display their art and there will be a small number of artist studios.
The Wolkoff family has owned the property for decades and has allowed local artists to use the warehouse to display their work for years.
However, the developer believes that Jackson Avenue has undergone a great deal of change in the past 10 years and that now is the appropriate time to pursue residential development.
Wolkoff, however, has to apply for a special permit to build the project on this scale. The development would create 980,000 sqf. in space, well over 5 times the size of the lot that is permitted. Therefore, he is seeking a permit that would allow him to build 8 times the lot area.
The developer is also seeking a waiver from a strict street-wall requirement.
Wolkoff said that he hopes to get the “plans certified” (requiring a detailed submission of plans and maps) with the Department of City Planning by fall.
The plans would then undergo the uniform land use procedure, which includes a 60 day period for the community board to review the application and make a recommendation to the city planning commission. The borough president is also required to write a recommendation.
The uniform land use procedure is a seven month process.