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Queens community board rejects proposal to expand towers at 5Pointz site

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The board says the developers have engaged in an ‘artful manipulation of the rules to inhibit any further community review’

The towers currently top out at 41 and 47 stories. A proposal seeking to add 100 more units to the development would bring one more floor to each of the towers.
Max Touhey

A Queens community board recommended on Monday that the Department of City Planning deny David and Jerry Wolkoff a revision that seeks to beef up the developers’ 5Pointz-replacing rental towers in Long Island City.

The father-son developer duo submitted a request to rejigger the layout to add 100 apartments total and one additional floor to each of the two rental towers at 22-44 Jackson Avenue.

The board contends that the request was submitted at the eleventh hour, leaving the group that operates in an advisory capacity little time to discuss the intricacies surrounding the proposal.

In a letter to the City Planning Commission obtained by THE CITY, the board rejected the proposal citing the Wolkoffs’ “artful manipulation of the rules to inhibit any further community review within the required timeframe.” The application was received by the board in June, after the last full community board meeting until September.

The City Planning Commission has no deadline by which to review the request, but a spokesperson notes that the commission will meet in August and September.

The revision was submitted after developer David Wolkoff held a clandestine July 16 meeting with Queens Community Board 2 chair Denise Keehan-Smith and land use committee lead Lisa Deller.

The city approved a special permit for the luxury development in 2013, when plans called for the two towers to rise to 41 and 47 stories with 1,000 apartments, 12,000 square feet of space for artists, and 32,000 square feet of open space for the public.

The development was in the news in January when artist James Turrell indefinitely shuttered his permanent Skyspace installation at MoMA PS 1 after temporary building materials affixed to the Wolkoffs’ towers encroached upon the framed view of the sky that constitutes the work of art. The installation remains closed; it’s unclear if the addition of another floor to the rental towers would create a permanent obtrusion onto Turrell’s Skyspace.