Somewhere an empty can of spray paint has rolled into a gutter, dented and rattling no more. This is it: 5 Pointz is done-for.

In a City Hall press conference that was more self-congratulatory than somber, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer outlined an approved agreement between the city, the Wolkoff family (who owns the property on which the Queens graffiti mecca now stands), and developers that would, they claimed, "honor and recognize the tradition of 5pointz and the history of the legacy of aerosol art and the artists" even as it demolishes it in favor of a new 1,000 unit, two building high-rise project.

Van Bramer made it clear that destruction of the site's legendary graffiti-covered warehouse was always an inevitability. "It was never about saving the building," he said of the day's vote. "The owners own the building and were going to tear it down and build a new building regardless of what happened here today."

Other aspects of the deal touted by Quinn, Van Bramer, and Council Member Leroy Comrie included:

  • The creation of 1,000 union jobs (200 of them permanent) in connection with the razing and rebuilding of the 5Pointz site.
  • The increase of "art space" within the buildings from 2,000 to 12,000 square feet.
  • An inclusion of 10,000 square feet of external panels around the complex that will be devoted to aerosol art. Johnathan Cohen, the curator and founder of 5Pointz sometimes referred to as Meres One, has allegedly been invited to both paint and curate the panels.
  • 32,000 square feet of public space that will include a park.

In keeping with the Council's general sentiment of 'you're lucky you're getting anything at all/we're doing taggers everywhere a big favor,' Comrie commended Van Bramer and the deal for "allowing the uniqueness of that 5 Pointz building to remain and actually making that now a location that people still want to come and see, and that artists still want to come and paint."

But will graffiti artists from the world over make the pilgrimage of Long Island City to paint on a few panels near a park full of strollers? Better get over there quick, Banksy.