A contentious plan to demolish 5Pointz, a revered Queens graffiti mecca, and replace it with big apartment towers came closer to reality today when Borough President Helen Marshall gave it her nod of approval.
Now that Ms. Marshall has given G&M Realty the thumbs up, the developer will present the project to the City Planning Commission and then the City Council and mayor.
During his opening remarks at the 5Pointz redevelopment hearing, developer David Wolkoff, whose father Jerry bought the Long Island City property in the 1970s, told the audience, “We’ve been members of the community for over 40 years.” Though they certainly tried (26 years! 29! 33! 4!), none of the speakers in opposition could quite top his time in Long Island City.
“I have fond memories of crawling in the basement of this building” as a child, he told the hostile crowd.
Normally the Wolkoffs wouldn’t have to grovel—it is, after all, their property. But the city dangles extra density as a carrot to developers— a tantalizing 60 percent in the case of this site— if they agree to build extra parking and plazas and to endure the public review process. (Amenities that Court Square has in abundance, including the surprisingly dense thicket of trees by One Court Square. If Jane Jacobs were still alive, we can’t help but wonder if she’d question the number of trees and the paucity of people.)
In the 31st-floor offices of SWW Creative, the walls are beige, the carpet is gray and the cabinets are standard-issue wood-grain. There’s no Eames armchair, no runway stills splashed across the walls, not even a lucite coffee table with a copy of Grace Coddington’s memoir. There’s not a flower in sight.
While fashion professionals are known to obsess over the color of their pens, SWW Creative’s offices are about as splashy as an insurance agency’s. Stephanie Winston Wolkoff is not concerned.