Tag Archives: 5Pointz restraining order

5Pointz supporters not giving up after judge’s ruling


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

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Updated 5:45 p.m. : 

Although a Brooklyn judge has given 5Pointz the thumbs down, artists and supporters are still not giving up.

Judge Frederic Block of the Brooklyn Federal Court issued a ruling on Tuesday against a request of preliminary injunction by Jonathan Cohen, curator at 5Pointz, and a group of 16 other aerosol artists, which sought protection for the hundreds of unique artworks at the site. The judge also ruled to dissolve the restraining order, which was initially granted in October and then extended a few weeks later.

Lifting the restraining order means the Wolkoff family, owners of the property on Jackson Avenue and Davis Street, and developer G&M Realty can now continue with any pre-demolition activities at the site.

As of press time, according to the artists, they are no longer allowed to paint on any part of the building and any artist who does will be arrested.

The developers hope to build two apartment towers – one 47 stories and the other 41 stories tall – with nearly 1,000 rental apartments, 32,000 square feet of outdoor public space and 50,000 square feet of retail space between them.

According to Jeannine Chanes, a lawyer for the 5Pointz artists, the initial lawsuit filed by the group will still continue and they hope to get a trial. She also said they will consider appealing the ruling on their preliminary injunction request, based on a written opinion issued by the judge.

One of the important messages Marie Cecile Flageul, a 5Pointz spokesperson, hopes to get out is that although the judge ruled against their preliminary injunction, it does not mean 5Pointz will be demolished any time soon. She said the temporary restraining order was to protect the pieces of art that cover the building, not to put a stop to the demolition. She said a demolition permit still needs to be issued and things such as asbestos and rodents need to be removed from the building.

“Now we are really concerned because of the damage that can be done to the artwork. But as far as the building going down – no it’s not,” said Flageul. “You have to tell kids with tears, artists in a panic, ‘don’t panic, it’s not a done deal yet.’ At the end of the day, there are no wrecking balls at 5Pointz.”

She also said that the artists are still in the building until next month, and there are residential and commercial tenants that still have until January to move out.

“The building is not going to go down before 2014,” she said.

Developers agreed with the City Council to build and staff the two buildings with 100 percent union workers, bringing more than 1,000 jobs to Long Island City, and also increase the number of affordable housing units from 75 to 210.

5Pointz will hold a rally at the building on Saturday, November 16 at 3 p.m. to assure supporters that their voices matter and that the fight will continue, said Flageul.

“We are going to celebrate the building and show the people that as long as we are not giving up, no one should give up,” she said.

 

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Judge grants extension on 5Pointz restraining order


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

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The small victories keep coming for 5Pointz.

Judge Frederick Block of the Brooklyn Federal Court granted Jonathan Cohen, curator at 5Pointz for the past 11 years, and a group of 16 other aerosol artists an extension to their initial 10 day restraining order on Monday, more than a week after they appeared before the court looking to file a lawsuit in an effort to stop the demolition of the graffiti mecca, according to Jeannine Chanes, a lawyer for a group of 5Pointz artists.

A hearing for preliminary injunction is now scheduled for November 6 in which the court will review the case, said Chanes. This also means that the restraining order has been stretched until 5 p.m. on November 12.

The restraining order means the Wolkoff family, owners of the property on Jackson Avenue and Davis Street, and developer G&M Realty cannot do anything demolition related to the property. The artists will also not be allowed to put any new art up during this time.

“We’re thrilled,” said Chanes. “It’s a really positive sign.”

The developers hope to build two apartment towers – one 47 stories and the other 41 stories tall – with close to 1,000 rental apartments, 32,000 square feet of outdoor public space and 50,000 square feet of retail space between them.

However according to Chanes, one of the biggest concerns is the fact that the artists working spaces are expected to be in the second tower, which developers have said would only be built if there is demand.

Developers agreed with the City Council to build and staff the two buildings with 100 percent union workers, bringing more than 1,000 jobs to Long Island City, and also increase the number of affordable ho using units from 75 to 210.

 

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Judge grants 10-day restraining order for 5Pointz


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

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5Pointz has won a small battle.

Judge Frederick Block of the Brooklyn Federal Court granted Jonathan Cohen, curator at 5Pointz for the past 11 years, and a group of 16 other aerosol artists a 10-day restraining order on October 17, after they appeared before the court looking to file a lawsuit in an effort to stop the demolition of the graffiti mecca.

According to Jeannine Chanes, a lawyer for the 5Pointz group, the restraining order means the Wolkoff family, owners of the site on Jackson Avenue and Davis Street, and developer G&M Realty cannot do anything demolition related to the property for the 10 days. The artists will also not be allowed to put any new art up during this time.

“Truly it was a good result for us,” said Chanes.

The developers hope to build two apartment towers – one 47 stories and the other 41 stories tall – with close to 1,000 rental apartments, 32,000 square feet of outdoor public space and 50,000 square feet of retail space between them.

However, according to Chanes, one of the biggest concerns is the fact that the artists’ working spaces are expected to be in the second tower, which developers have said would only be built if there is demand.

Developers agreed with the City Council to build and staff the two buildings with 100 percent union workers, bringing more than 1,000 jobs to Long Island City, and also increase the number of affordable housing units from 75 to 210.

Yet, the federal lawsuit, filed in Brooklyn Federal Court, claims the destruction of 5Pointz, which is home to over 350 works of unique aerosol art, would result in a violation of the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990, which gives visual artists limited moral rights and copyright law.

Chanes said that as far as they know, this is the first case of street artists looking for legal protection of their work in the whole country.

Although a lawyer for the Wolkoffs did not return calls for comment as of press time, according to court documents, both the Wolkoffs and G&M realty are claiming the artists had a “clear oral understanding and agreement that the site was absolutely going to be redeveloped.”

The restraining order will be lifted on October 28, but during the 10 days the judge will review the facts on the case and the group hopes to put together an offer to buy the building from the Wolkoffs or come up with an alternative plan.

 

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