By Chris Engelhardt
A special permit application for the 5Pointz redevelopment project has been tweaked to include additional community benefits for Long Island City residents, the site’s owners told Borough President Helen Marshall last week.
The Wolkoff family, which has owned the site for more than 40 years, wants to raze 5Pointz, at 45-46 Davis St. in Long Island City, by the end of the year. Design plans call for a zoning change to allow 1,000 residential units, all rentals, in a 41-story tower and a 47-story tower, which would be connected on the fifth floor with an esplanade.
The plans include an indoor pool, a gym, an art gallery and a 250-spot parking garage, along with a courtyard with a 50-by-200-foot mural honoring the building’s graffiti glory, as well as 30,000 square feet of outdoor space for the public in addition to 50,000 square feet of retail space between both buildings.
In June, Community Board 2 rejected the special permit application to develop the graffiti-covered warehouse into two high-rise luxury apartments after CB 2’s Land Use Committee said the project’s “excessive size” and “unsatisfactory design” failed to provide sufficient community benefits.
But at a Land Use public hearing June 27, 5Pointz owner David Wolkoff — joined by his father, Long Island developer Jerry Wolkoff, and CB 2 Chairman Joseph Conley — said additional community benefits will be included in the application to ensure sufficient amenities for residents. Some benefits include a car-sharing program for the parking garage, partnerships with local art organizations and affordable housing.
“We will offer below parking preferential rates and promotions as an amenity to encourage residents of the development and residents and businesses in the community to park in the garage,” David Wolkoff said.
He added: “We will form a working partnership with a local art institution — for example, PS 1, SculptureCenter or other Queens-based art institutions — for the management of display art in the public space along Davis Street.”
Marshall will now make a recommendation after hearing the presentation. Jerry Wolkoff described the added benefits as a joint effort between CB 2 and the Wolkoff family, and said there will be outreach with artists and the community about the benefits.
One critic of the plan, Jerry Rotondi, called on Marshall to deny the special permit request. Before speaking, he held up a picture display of the Wolkoff site that featured photos of overflowing dumpsters and accumulated garbage.
“The pictures that I display speak the thousand words of disregard that the Wolkoff family has for the community,” he said, adding he has seen rats scurrying around the area.
Jerry Wolkoff admitted the pictures were of his site, but said he is not responsible for the garbage from tenants.
“I try to keep my building as clean as possible,” he said. “But the Health Department goes after the tenant, not the landlord.”
After Marshall’s recommendation, the application moves on to the City Planning Commission.
Reach reporter Chris Engelhardt by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4564.