First Glimpse: ‘5Pointz’ Redevelopment Plans

The city’s environmental review of the ‘5Pointz’ redevelopment in Queens has been published, and it contains the first glance at the graffiti mecca‘s eventual replacements. The Wolkoff family is developing the property, and attempting to change the zoning to allow for a total of 1,000 new residences in two towersan increase of nearly 400 units from what is currently allowedin addition to minor commercial space. The larger tower will rise 47 stories and 498 feet, with the smaller building coming in at 40 floors and 440 feet.

The proposal contains a provision for the inclusion of 2,280 square feet of ‘artist’ space, a small concession to the 5Pointz community, but nothing that compares to the open canvas of the warehouses today. With the new development, it does seem the old buildings will be completely torn downthough they are derelict and graffiti as an art remains a controversial topic.

Due to the proposal’s scope outside the approved envelope, the project will now begin winding its way through ULURPthe Uniform Land Use Review Procedurewhere there will be significant public input. Given the site’s profile and relative historic value to New York’s art community, the project could see opposition atypical to Court Square, which remains a relative no-man’s-land in the midst of a development boom.

Unfortunately for graffiti fans, the Wolkoffs could also proceed with an as-of-right development featuring a single bulkier tower. 5Pointz will be razed, it’s just a matter of what replaces itand the larger proposal would add more vitality to a neighborhood that remains rather desolate, which is how an old warehouse ended up covered in graffiti in the first place.

The only detailed rendering within the city’s report is subtitled ‘For Illustrative Purposes Only,’ so the final product will differ from what’s depicted belowstill, it conveys the massing, and given the Court Square location the final designs probably won’t be all that different. Completion of the development is a long ways off, with initial plans aiming for delivery of both towers by 2017, and the site’s official address is 22-24 Jackson Avenue.

5Pointz NYC
5Pointz today, image originally from The Gazette 

Replacement Towers at 5Pointz, image from the 5Pointz Plan

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4 Comments on "First Glimpse: ‘5Pointz’ Redevelopment Plans"

  1. The place is an oasis today. Anyone who visits can see the other people who come from around the entire world to see this treasure. Demolition of it would be a terrible loss to the fabric of the community and to anyone who believes in inspiration, freedom, and the human spirit.

    People will claim the buildings are derelict…but the only reason buildings in a vibrant neighborhood can become rundown is by complete neglect – on purpose – by the buildings owners. The owners have purposefully not maintained the buildings, because it allows them to strengthen their own self-serving argument to tear them down and put up condos.

  2. Anonymous | May 1, 2013 at 1:57 pm |

    Not no, yes!

  3. Agreed with commenter two!

    To #1: it may be an oasis for the artists who use it, but it is otherwise derelict. Unfortunately Long Island City lacks any real community, so there is no fabric to be damaged–that is not to say 5Pointz is a wonder of graffiti, but it is still on private property that the developer has every right to demolish.

    Owners may neglect buildings for a variety of reasons. Spending money on maintenance and upkeep of your particular building sounds like a great idea, but if the entire neighborhood vacates and there are no tenants to attract? Well that’s precisely the situation that has resulted in 5Pointz, and it’s great that the art community has taken a liking to the buildings, but at the end of the day redevelopment is the owner’s prerogative.

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