5Pointz Graffiti - Whitewashed & Redeveloped? LIC Market



5Pointz Graffiti has been a longtime hub for graffiti artistry in New York City for a very long time. Whenever people would commute through Queens and into Manhattan, they would see the iconic graffiti art splashed on the canvas that was 45-46 Davis Street in Long Island City. Since 2001, 5Pointz was given an informal agreement by the developer to create murals of graffiti on their residential properties. In fact, it was leased as artists' studios far back to 1990.

But all of a sudden in 2013, the building's developer Jerry Wolkoff, made a decision to demolish the building and whitewashed the murals overnight. In 2014, the building was demolished in favor of developing a condominium complex. Construction began on 45-46 Davis Street on 2015 and completed on 2017. They were sued to the tune of nearly $7 Million to 21 artists on 2018.


Here's What You Need To Know

The decision by the Wolkoffs to transform and redevelop their building came at a time when the market was on the up and up. Long Island City was starting to pop as a bridge to Manhattan without the price tags. Large corporations were beginning to find a home there like Fresh Direct, Jet Blue Airways, and Brooks Brothers. So there was no surprise when the Wolkoffs wanted to take advantage of their land and find a way to build upon their air rights or get permits to expand to 1,122 apartments after contingencies.

The Landscape Of LIC Is Changing

Like it's neighbor in Brooklyn, Long Island City is becoming just as popular due to its intrigue of being waterfront with scenic views of the Manhattan skyline; all with less of a price tag than its eldest brother. It's exactly why some people move to Jersey City or Hoboken due to it's ease-of-commute, having that Manhattan skyline, and being waterfront.

Surrounding Neighborhoods

By proxy, surrounding neighborhoods have benefited from it's growing interest. These are neighborhoods that border LIC such as Sunnyside, Astoria, and Woodside or even Maspeth. Each neighborhood has its own unique appeal and you can definitely see that when you enter in. If someone wanted the suburban life with the ability to access more energetic neighborhoods like LIC, they might find the lower price points and pin-drop-quiet neighborhoods like Maspeth appealing.

Shame...


It's a shame that a legacy for nearly 2 decades, like 5Pointz, was destroyed. While I can understand their idea of rebranding as a luxury Condominium to cement and pivot to a growing market, it behooves me to wonder why they wouldn't create something that backpacked on the storied work and culture of their prior artist-tenants.

While there are arguments to be said for each, such as the graffiti becoming dated as years pass to not acclimate to the markets' needs, I think there could have been something more if communication was being given. But alas, that's how the cookie crumbles, or in this case, how the mural washes. Rome had their day; now this is the beginning of a new market in Long Island City. Keep reading this blog and sign up to the newsletter to get a new update on the market of LIC.

P.S. I understand the title may sound a bit harsh, but believe me it has nothing to do with any sort of gentrification or blockbusting or anything of that nature. I represent the ideals of the National Association of Realtors and Real Broker NY LLC as a highly ethical Real Estate Sales Professional. 

Sources:
5 Pointz, New York
5 Pointz graffiti artists awarded $6.7M by federal judge
5Pointz developer holds private meeting with Queens community board
5Pointz Graffiti - Whitewashed & Redeveloped? LIC Market 5Pointz Graffiti - Whitewashed & Redeveloped? LIC Market Reviewed by Alex Sung on April 14, 2020 Rating: 5

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