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5 Pointz settlement upheld by federal judge

The same judge that awarded 21 artists $6.7 million is sticking to his verdict

Max Touhey

The federal judge who awarded 21 artists $6.7 million for their lost work at the 5Pointz site handed another stinging defeat this week to the developer that destroyed that work. Jerry Wolkoff’s post-trial motion to vacate the earlier judgment or to start a new trial was rejected by judge Frederic Block, Artnet News reports.

The rejection was accompanied by strong rebuke of the developer—the judge said he would stick firmly to his ruling because Wolkoff had misled him. Part of the defense‘s argument rested on the fact that this same judge had denied a previous preliminary motion in 2013 that would have prevented the graffiti mecca from being demolished.

Judge Block said in his ruling this week that Wolkoff told him in 2013 that he had to move forward with demolition immediately or he would lose a lot of money in tax credits, and would have to abandon the project entirely. As it turned out, the developer had not even filed demolition plans, and it wasn’t until August 2014 that demolition actually got underway.

Wolkoff plans to appeal this ruling on the circuit court level, so this battle isn’t over just yet. Meanwhile, the 5Pointz site is currently in the midst of a transformation into a two-building rental complex with over 1,000 apartments.