Aug. 21, 2013 By Christian Murray
The 5 Pointz graffiti icon moved one step closer to meeting the wrecking ball this morning.
The developer’s application to demolish the site and erect 1,000 apartment units –370 more than what is permitted under current zoning rules—was approved by the City Planning Commission.
The only thing that can stop the special permit from being granted is the city council.
The city council is likely to put the zoning permit up for a vote within the next 50 days—after the city council holds two public hearings.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who has enormous influence over the vote, said he would “meet with various stakeholders and ultimately make a decision based solely on what I believe is best for Long Island City.”
To date, the special permit has been approved by the planning commission, the Queens Borough President’s Office and, tacitly, by the leadership of Community Board 2.
The Queens Borough President’s office agreed to the special permit after an agreement was struck on June 26 between the leaders of Community Board 2 and developer Jerry Wolkoff. Wolkoff agreed to provide 75 affordable apartment units with preference for neighboring residents; 20 artist studios (up from the five that were initially proposed); and below market-rate parking.
The agreement followed the 40-member Community Board 2’s rejection of the plan on June 6. The board argued that the development was too large and out of character, made no provision for affordable housing and provided little in the way of art studio space.
And how is this being considered when they’re already building a condo building next to 5Pointz? Why is everything torn down and turned into a condo? I no longer understand this city.
More housing and people is not good for this area when the infrastructure has not been addressed. The 7 train is already crowded beyond belief.
And gentrification breeds crime. The criminals think everyone in the neighborhood is rich because of what they pay in rent. They don’t take into consideration all the people who have lived there for years and aren’t rich.
Gentrifcation also destroys any and all culture, which is extremely sad. Another boring condo building for the area.
I wonder how much the owner is paying Van Bramer.
More apartments = more housing, people. Thi is a good thing.
well, let him do it within zoning please.
that’s my point.
ANONYMOUS: THAT STILL HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE FACT THAT OWNER STILL HAS THE RIGHT TO SELL IT OR TEAR THE BUILDING DOWN IF HE WISHES!!!! HE DOES NOT NEED A VARIANCE FOR THAT! ALSO, IF HE CHOOSES HE CAN BUILD ACCORDING TO THE ZONING LAWS, I DON’T THINK THAT HE IS SAY THAT HE WANTS TO BUILD AS HE PLEASES. I NEVER SAID ANYTHING ABOUT THE OWNER NOT COMPLYING WITH THE LAWS OR CITY COUNCIL APPROVAL. THE ANNOYING PART IS THAT PEOPLE STILL WANT TO DICTATE WHAT HE CAN DO OR CAN’T DO WITH HIS PROPERTY. IM SURE HE WILL COMPLY WITH ALL THE LAWS WHEN THE TIME COMES.
“Now he has every right to sell or use the property as he wishes. If you own anything how would you like if someone told you can’t do what you want with it or say we will not allow you to do what you want with your property?”
No, he doesn’t. It’s called zoning. He is not entitled to a variance, and the City Council need not approve it.
Everyone is forgetting that this is privately owned property and the owner was generous enough to allow graffiti upon his building. Now he has every right to sell or use the property as he wishes. If you own anything how would you like if someone told you can’t do what you want with it or say we will not allow you to do what you want with your property? Be realistic people and stop saying we need to fight or ask for help to stop the owner from doing what he wants with his property. If you are so concerned why don’t you just buy the property from the current owner and keep as is. Go ahead and be the Hero you’re looking for.
Demolishing this building, and the art on its facade, would be an absolute travesty. It is sad and scary that the permit has gotten this far. The City Council should deny this permit and, instead, look toward a grander vision (beyond more vapid condos, that is): a multi-use arts and artisnal-market complex that maintains the facade (and allows continued painting) with the interior filled with shops, bars and restaurants all operating alongside art studios/galleries and a concert venue able to handle smaller-scale national touring acts as well as intimate jazz and classical concerts where food and drink are served in tandem with music. That would truly be a visionary development.
There are enough condos in LIC… nobody (except the people who buy and sell them) cares about more condos. A lot of people (around the region, nation and world!) would be interested in a new multi-use complex with an incredible graffiti facade and lots of interesting shops, restaurants, art studios/galleries and a superb music venue. There would be nothing like it in the entire borough or the entire city. The neighborhood is already thriving with cultural life… why not spur growth even more and lobby to save 5 Pointz and turn it into a mecca for shopping, food and concerts! More condos = $$$$ for a few. Arts and food = great culture for all!
Call/email Van Bramer’s office and let him know you do not want more vapid condos… but want visionary development, instead!
5pointz is so close to the subway tracks and LIRR though.
The developer is going to have a hard time finding people who want to live surrounded by so much noise.
The space will be convenient, yes, but there is a lot of land in LIC that can be developed instead.
5pointz has brought a lot of new faces to the borough, for better or for worse, but they should really leave this beautiful piece of art in its rightful, claimed place.
As said before it is sad to 5ptz go but as a matter of principle no zoning exemption should be granted. Artist studios, affordable units (75…wow….), below-market rate parking aren’t a high enough price. Parkland,Green space, other community minded things.
Also the city should take into account zoning was done taking into account transport options.
Do not let the 7 train get even worse.
ONE THOUSAND UNITS????
The city is being sold to the highest bidder. Shameful.
Cool, let’s just take everything that made these areas cool, hip, and trendy and eliminate it!
This doesn’t necessarily bode well for public services and infrastructure. Has anyone conducted an impact study?