5Pointz Developer Wants to Use Iconic Name for New Residential Towers
The whitewashing and subsequent demolition of Long Island City graffiti mecca 5Pointz was painful enough for the arts community, but now G&M Realty, the developer responsible for the loss, wants to trademark the 5Pointz name and use it for their new residential towers at the site. And artists are not happy, saying the developer is trying to bank off their name.
G&M is planning two towers for the site, at 41 and 47 stories, that together will hold 1,000 rental units. The developer submitted an application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office in March to trademark “5Pointz,” but it was initially rejected in June for being too similar to another registrant. G&M now has six months to respond to the decision.
In 2013 5Pointz was whitewashed without notice, and demolition commenced this past August. It will likely be completed by the end of the year. The new apartment towers are designed by New York-based HTO Architect. They feature stone facades with glass corners that stretch from the ground to the penthouse apartments. When the renderings were revealed in July, G&M Realty’s David Wolkoff said he planned to designate 12,000 square feet of the new development for 20 artists’ studios and displays. Additionally, about 20% of the units will be affordable.
Wolkoff also says that he’s planning to “bring the artists back,” by adding exterior walls and in interior walkway connecting the towers, both reserved for street artists to paint. He believes these concessions will make the building similar to the original 5Pointz, and cites that using the iconic name is a reference to the location, not the artists or their artwork. But artists aren’t sold on Wolkoff’s vision, as they feel that 5Pointz died the day the graffiti was whitewashed. Marie Cecile Flageul, a volunteer and spokeswoman for the 5Pointz artists, told DNAinfo: “It’s ironic that the same corporation which single-handedly destroyed all the artwork known as 5Pointz is trying to capitalize on its name.”
Renderings © HTO Architect