NYDailyNews.com reports that the 5Pointz building’s owner, Jerry Wolkoff, said he recently met with city planning officials to discuss replacing the outdoor display with two high-rise residential towers and up to 1,300 rental units.
The move has prompted concerns from several artists. “If it were to happen, it would be no different than tearing down the MOMA or the Guggenheim,” explained 5Pointz collective founder Jonathan Cohen.
The structure has been a canvas for artists since the early 1990s. “It is not just any other building with graffiti on it. It is the epicenter for graffiti artists from all over the world,” added Cohen.
Wolkoff, who has owned the factory since 1971, and has supported the work of the graffiti artists throughout the years, indicated that his plans include a number of shops and restaurants, a supermarket and a park, in addition to a studio space for artists.
“It is important for Long Island City, and it is important for Queens,” he said of the redevelopment project, which is expected to provide for thousands of construction jobs.