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Queens Chronicle

5Pointz tenant, Local Project, asks for money for move

Next, City Council will vote on zone change for graffiti building

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Posted: Thursday, August 29, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:59 am, Thu Sep 5, 2013.

For the last five years an arts organization called Local Project has run classes and a gallery space out of the unique building at 22-44 Jackson Ave. called 5Pointz, but with plans to raze the site moving forward, the organization has been asked to leave.

On Aug. 21 the Department of City Planning voted in favor of a zoning change that would allow the owners of the 5Pointz property to build a 1,000-unit glass tower instead of a 620-unit one the developer could build as of right. The City Council has 50 days to vote on the change.

The construction of the new complex means the several-story old factory that for years has displayed legal graffiti will be torn down. Individuals affiliated with 5Pointz are planning a rally against the plans, according to 5Pointz’s Twitter page.

Ahead of these changes, 5Pointz tenant Local Project launched Keep LP Spinning on Indiegogo, a crowdfunding website that allows groups to ask for funds.

LP needs $27,000 to move, Director Carolina Penafiel said. So far contributors have given about $2,000.

“We really need the money,” Penafiel said. “Any dollar counts. If you have ever had a beer for free, met someone here, taken a class, please give us a dollar to keep us going.”

Depending on the amount, those who help will be given postcards, tote bags, portraits painted on CDs and records, a DJ for a private party at the donor’s home, classes on how to use Photoshop or “your own show at the new Local Project space.”

The campaign will run until the end of the month though LP must vacate its space, which also contains the thrift shop Fancy Foxes, by Sept. 20.

Then they will move to a warehouse at 44th Road and 11th Street in Long Island City.

Fun fact: Police emptied the new space of 1,000 marijuana plants in April.

The arts organization will share the spot with Susan Peters, who operates LIC Salon Apparel, a salon and spa wear manufacturer, with whom LP shared the 5Pointz space. Peters found the new location.

Additionally, LP is looking for artists to occupy studios in the back of the warehouse.

“It will be more of a community of people that will come together, who are looking to have a network,” Penafiel said. “It will be a community space with everyone helping each other with the gallery and thrift store.”

The location is much bigger and comes with a doubled price, which Penafiel says is still reasonable, but stresses the volunteer-based organization.

It also comes with heat, something the 5Pointz space does not have.

“We had to cut out programming during the winter and now we can run all year,” she said.

Welcome to the discussion.