New York graffiti Mecca Five Pointz will soon be razed and replaced with high rises and a luxury shopping mall.
Owner Jerry Wolkoff has allowed street artists to create art on the walls of the former warehouse in Long Island since 1993. Marlon Bishop for WNYC reported Wolkoff intends to submit formal redevelopment plans for the $350 project within two weeks. In addition to the residential buildings and commercial spaces, the plans include studio spaces for artists and a wall for graffiti artists to use.
The announcement came as a surprise to graffiti artist Jonathan Cohen, known as Meres, who runs Five Pointz. Following the outpouring of support after the proposal was announced, Meres posted the following response on the Five Pointz website:
The recently announced development plans to convert 5 Pointz into a high-rise residential tower and luxury shopping mall came as a great surprise to us all. We wish we could answer all of your questions and concerns right now but the truth is we were just as surprised by the news as everybody else. Over the past decade Jerry Wolkoff has given us the opportunity to transform the warehouse at Jackson and Crane into 5 Pointz known to you all as the graffiti Mecca, a spot Jerry himself has referred to as a great place.
All we can do right now is sit tight and prepare for the new season, we have walls to fix and materials to acquire in order to welcome you all for our re-opening.
Five Pointz is an outdoor exhibition space displaying the creations of hundreds of graffiti artists. The 200,000 square foot former warehouse currently houses 200 artist studios. The name refers to the coming together of the five New York boroughs, but the space has attracted global attention.