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.
“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.