Tag Archives: Jerry Wolkoff

5Pointz artists suing over whitewashing: report


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photos

A group of 5Pointz artists who saw their work disappear when it was whitewashed is now suing the property’s owner over the loss, according to a published report.

Nine of the artists who displayed their aerosol work at the former Long Island City graffiti mecca on Jackson Avenue and Davis Street, filed a lawsuit in Brooklyn federal court Friday, claiming that the property’s owner, Jerry Wolkoff, committed an illegal act by painting over their work without giving them enough warning to take it down and save it, the Daily News reported.

According to the publication, the artists are seeking significant monetary damages.

“This case is not only brought on behalf of plaintiffs, but it sends a message to everyone that the unlawful destruction of artwork will not be tolerated. If anyone violates federal law under the Visual Rights Act, they must be held accountable,” their attorney Eric Baum of Eisenberg & Baum told the Daily News.

DSC_0314

In November 2013, Wolkoff ordered to have the building and all the aerosol work that covered it painted white overnight only a few days after artists and supporters held rallies looking to save the graffiti mecca and requesting the site be landmarked.

The same year, the 5Pointz artists attempted to sue to stop the developer from tearing down the buildings but lost an important ruling shortly before the whitewashing. But a judge also reportedly said that their works had “recognized stature” and some could qualify under the Visual Artists Rights Act.

Wolkoff and his company, G&M Realty, plan 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 on the former 5Pointz site. Last August, Wolkoff also released a rendering of a reserved space for graffiti that will be on the new building’s exterior near a rear courtyard, and will be open to the public.

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Contamination cleanup of former 5Pointz graffiti mecca coming soon


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

5 Pointz during mid-demolition

Environmental remediation of the former 5Pointz site, the next step to transform the former graffiti mecca into a massive housing development, is set to begin soon following a public review.

After investigating the Long Island City site, which comprises an entire block bounded by Jackson Avenue, Davis Street and Crane Street, developer Jerry Wolkoff and his firm G&M Realty LP proposed a remedial plan.

The investigation results were reviewed by the New York State Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The agencies found that the site “does not pose a significant threat to human health and the environment.”

DEC is accepting written comments from the public about the proposed cleanup plan by G&M Realty until April 11. Residents can review the plan by reaching out to DEC’s Region 2 office at 47-40 21st St. in Long Island City.

The site is tainted by metals in soil, including mercury, lead and zinc, according to DEC, as well as organic compound contaminants.

The nearly three-acre site was historically known as the Neptune Meter Company, which manufactured water meters from the 1890s until the 1970s. It became the graffiti mecca later and also hosted other tenants.

5Pointz rubble 2

Following public comments, the state agency plans to revise the cleanup plan, and then the state Department of Health must approve it. After that, G&M Realty can begin cleaning up the site.

About two months ago, The United States Patent and Trademark Office denied Wolkoff’s application to trademark the 5Pointz name for the apartment towers planned for the site.

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Petition started to prevent developers from trademarking ‘5Pointz’ name


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Supporters are coming together in an online petition to stop developer G&M Realty from trademarking the name “5Pointz” and using it on its upcoming luxury apartment towers.

Jerry Wolkoff, owner of the property on Jackson Avenue and Davis Street in Long Island City, and his company G&M Realty submitted an application early last year to have the name of the graffiti mecca, which has since been demolished, trademarked. He planned to use it as a name for the two apartment towers — one 47 stories and the other 41 stories tall.

Last week, The United States Patent and Trademark Office denied Wolkoff his application because a California-based real estate company had already trademarked the name. He can appeal the decision and reapply for the trademark.

5Pointz spokeswoman Marie Cecile-Flageul said Wolkoff’s decision to attempt to trademark what 5Pointz curator and CEO Jonathan “Meres One” Cohen and artists worked years to create just adds to the “constant disrespect” shown since the graffiti mecca was whitewashed in November of 2013.

Wolkoff ordered to have the building and all the aerosol work that covered it painted white overnight, only a few days after artists and supporters held rallies looking to save the site and requested the site be landmarked.

Cecile-Flageul said that they decided to start the petition on MoveOn.org to shed light on what is happening and also to remind people that the fight still continues.

“We thought it was a good way for people to voice how much they care about 5Pointz almost a year after the whitewash,” she said. “People have not forgotten and are still willing to fight for the name.”

Cecile-Flageul also said that although the building is no longer there, 5Pointz still exists — but is just homeless. 5Pointz Aerosol Art Center was incorporated in 2003.

She added that although Wolkoff says he was part of the creation of the name, he had nothing to do with it and wants to trademark the name “as a marketing tool.”

Last August, Wolkoff released a rendering of a reserved space for graffiti which will be on the new building’s exterior near a rear courtyard, and will be open to the public.

Rendering courtesy of HTO Architect

“He is also insisting that the artists are going to be back and it’s going to be better and bigger. For me it’s very concerning because it shows no understanding [of] what 5Pointz really was,” Cecile Flageul said. “You can never really recreate what 5Pointz was.”

The petition, which since Tuesday garnered 2,094 signatures, will be used in case Wolkoff decides to appeal the trademark decision and will also be sent to Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.

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Demolition begins at 5Pointz


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

The walls have started to come down at the Long Island City site which was once home to the graffiti mecca known as 5Pointz.

Demolition began Friday at the property on Jackson Avenue and Davis Street as crews teared down the back wall with bulldozers.

Last month, Jerry Wolkoff, owner of the property, said he hoped to begin demolishing the buidlings in August after initially looking to tear down the site months ago. The demolition is expected to take up to three months to finish.

Wolkoff and his company, G&M Realty, plan 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.

Jackson Ave 5

In October, the City Council approved the developer’s proposal to build apartment towers to larger dimensions than allowed by current zoning rules.

Wolkoff ordered to have the building and all the aerosol work that covered it painted white overnight last November, only a few days after artists and supporters held rallies looking to save the graffiti mecca and requested the site be landmarked.

Then earlier this month, Wolkoff released a rendering of a reserved space for graffiti which will be on the new building’s exterior near a rear courtyard, and will be open to the public. However, some artists and 5Pointz supporters are skeptical of the reserved space.

“Who knows what kind of artists it’s going to attract, what’s it’s going to be like and how are they going to manage that,” said Carolina Penafiel of Local Project, a non-profit arts organization which used to be housed in 5Pointz.

Jackson Ave 8

Penafiel stopped by the former graffiti mecca to watch the early demolition and reflect on it.

“It’s sad to see that nobody was able to do anything,” she said. “It wasn’t just a building. It was 5Pointz, you know? I don’t think you could build something like this again.”

 

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5Pointz demolition expected to begin in August: reports


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

The Long Island City site which once was home to the graffiti mecca known as 5Pointz could soon be gone.

Jerry Wolkoff, owner of the property on Jackson Avenue and Davis Street, said he hopes to begin demolishing the buildings in August after initially wanting to have started tearing down the site months ago, according to published reports. The demolition is expected to take up to three months to finish.

Wolkoff and his company, G&M Realty, 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.

In October, the City Council approved the developer’s proposal to build apartment towers to larger dimensions than allowed by current zoning rules.

Last November, Wolkoff ordered to have the building and all the aerosol work that covered it painted white overnight only a few days after artists and supporters held rallies looking to save the graffiti mecca and requesting the site be landmarked.

Wolkoff previously said the towers would include about 20 artist studios and outdoor walls designated for artists.

Wolkoff did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

 

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