The construction of two glassy towers to replace the infamous 5Pointz graffiti warehouse is officially in motion. New York YIMBY reported that architect H. Thomas O’Hara filed building permits with the DOB yesterday morning. The filings really show how massive this development will be: 977,086 square feet of residential space and 39,765 square feet of commercial space, making 1,016,851 square feet total. There will also be a 32,099-square-foot plaza and a 262-car public parking garage. The two towers will hold 1,116 units, and roughly 20 percent will be priced affordably.
Demolition of the graffiti warehouse should begin in a few weeks; it’s expected to be gone by October. Site work for the new building should begin in three to five months, and eventually Long Island City will have one more development that looks just like every other new build in New York.
Last week, a Q’Stoner tipster spotted dumpsters out at 5Pointz — a sign of demolition to come. Today, LIC Post reports that the iconic graffiti warehouse will be gone by October. Owner/developer Jerry Wolkoff stated that demolition will begin in earnest in about two weeks and will continue for about two to three months. He told LIC Post, “Once demolition starts we will continue all the way through to 2016… until the job is complete.” The warehouse will be replaced by two 47- and 41-story towers, with a total of 1,000 apartment units.
Demolition comes nine months after the Wolkoffs secured City Council approval for the new buildings, and eight months after whitewashing the warehouse. The demo job was supposed to take place in early 2014, but Wolkoff said it took longer than expected to secure permits. He predicts the shiny development to replace 5Pointz will be the “coolest [residential] building in New York.”
On Friday, a Q’Stoner tipster wrote in to report the progress of the 5Pointz demolition. Work began in March but has moved slowly ever since. Here’s what our tipster says:
As I was taking the 7 into the city this morning, I noticed large dumpsters in the 5pointz courtyard and in the adjacent parking lot. Parked cars in the lot were also moved away from the building. It seems the demo process is beginning.
There’s another photograph of the dumpsters being used for demolition after the jump. Demolition was expected to begin late last year or early 2014, and the reason for the holdup is unclear. Once the graffiti warehouse is down it’ll be replaced by two condo towers.
Brooklyn Street Art posted an excellent photo essay featuring closeup shots of the 5Pointz building, where chipped paint reveals the layers of colorful graffiti work once there. (The top coat, of course, is now all white.) The images are accompanied by a tribute to the artwork now covered up:
So the murals on the surface are gone but in reality they are not – they are here in front of us, just covered by layers of paint. If you want to, you may see it as evidence of the tribute to collaborative public space that 5 Pointz embodied – the affirmation of a multi-membered community united in all it’s multi-colored splendor. Here is your visual forensic report: before you is a brief sampling of the thousands of hours of sweat, labor, inspiration – and thousands of gallons of paint, vividly represented, richly textured, and unquestioned proof of the success of 5 Pointz.
The warehouse building is now waiting for demolition (although some preliminary demo work started earlier this year) and will be replaced by condos.
Google just launched the Google Street Art Project, which preserves images of more than 4,000 street art and graffiti works from around the world. The page dedicated to 5Pointz shares a detailed history of the building, profiles many of the artists who worked there, and talks about its demise. Most importantly, there are tons of amazing images of the graffiti work that once graced the building. Now, of course, it looks like this.
Today LTV Squad shared its adventure through 5Pointz, which, as you may have heard, is slated for demolition soon. LTV Squad took advantage of this prime window of time when one can get in or be given access by workers between abandonment of a building and demolition. They managed to shoot tons of interior photos. Here’s what they found inside the fabled graffiti mecca:
What we found inside was a maze of hallways and partitions, sections with solid concrete flooring and older sections with decaying wood and stairs of questionable stability. One must understand – 5ptz isn’t just one building – it’s a series of interconnected structures that together formed one large complex (like Voltron, or something). Some parts were in better condition than others.
The various parts of the building became known to us by the businesses that inhabited them. There was the sweat shop in the basement and first floor – full of boxes of fabric and a rack of cheap ladies clothing. Up towards Jackson avenue was the DVD shop – an large space filled with piles of DVDs and computer drives for replicating them. There was the Jackson Roof and the Big Roof high above the center of the complex. Then there’s the apartments. Immediately next to 5 ptz sits a series of 4 storefront buildings with apartments above them. These buildings, while not a part of 5ptz, are also abandoned and slated for demolition ( they are all empty except for the one above the former Shannon Pot bar, where an angry squatter is living and acting hostile towards anyone that enters – workers included).
The entire complex was big enough that 10 people could be exploring in teams of 2 and not run into each other for hours. If one were to listen in on our burn phone calls, you’d think we were speaking in code. Where are you? “Jackson Roof”. “The Record Room”. “3rd floor apartment over the space womb”. We spent hours here. Over a span of 2 days and nights we meticulously combed every inch of 5ptz. To the left are the photos from this adventure.
Over the weekend, a number of LIC residents posted photos of continued protest at 5Pointz, the graffiti mecca which is not long for this world. The artists gilf! and BAMN worked together to hang the yellow banner, which reads “Gentrification in Progress,” around the building on Saturday night. The building owners whitewashed the warehouse in November in the face of protest and resistance from 5Pointz artists. And after the whitewashing, six people were arrested for allegedly tagging the building with markers. Demolition started at the infamous graffiti site earlier this month; the warehouse will be replaced with two condo towers.
The Court Square Blog snapped the above photo of demolition starting at the former 5Pointz warehouse. According to CSB, “In the past week, we’ve seen asbestos abatement crews working around the construction site. It is the first major movement we’ve seen on these buildings since Wolkoff’s decision to whitewash the art back in mid-November.” Demolition was expected to begin late last year or early 2014, so work is slightly delayed. The warehouse, of course, will be replaced with two condo towers.
Over the weekend the New York Daily News tallied up all the mega developments slated for Queens. These planned high rises will dramatically change the Queens skyline over the next 20 years. Here’s the breakdown of what’s to come:
Thanks to the Court Square Blog for a heads up about an upcoming 5Pointz art show. On January 19th, 5Pointz will host a show at the Gold Coast Art Center in Great Neck featuring the artists Meres One, Zimad, See TF and Kid Lew and John Paul. It’s curated by the director for the Gold Coast Art Center, Jude Amsel. The event is free and also includes a cocktail reception. It’ll be held from 3 pm to 5 pm at 113 Middle Neck Road.