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Judge rules 5Pointz can be torn down for residential towers

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A federal judge has decided against issuing a permanent injunction that would stop the demolition of 5Pointz in Long Island City.

The way is clear for the building’s owners, Jerry and David Wolkoff, to begin preparing to tear down the graffiti mecca to make way for luxury high-rise residential towers.

“That’s our understanding of it,” said Marie Cecile Flageul, spokeswoman for the 5Pointz artists. “We’re disappointed, but we’re already working on our next move.”

She added that the lawsuit continues with the artists seeking protection under the 1990 Visual Arts Rights Act in an attempt to protect the 350 murals that cover the walls of the warehouse complex.

Brooklyn Judge Frederic Block listened to arguments and testimony from both sides for three days before announcing his decision Tuesday evening. The judge had indicated Friday that while he sympathized with the artists, the rule of law was on the side of the owners and their right to develop the property at 22-44 Jackson Ave.

While the Wolkoffs can start preparations, the artists are not leaving yet.

“We’re there legally until December,” Flageul said. “It’s been tough on us. We put in all the work and put our lives on hold, so we really took the decision hard.”

The Wolkoffs were not available for comment.

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparry@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4538.

Updated 1:08 pm, November 13, 2013
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