CB 2 wants library space at 5Pointz

Board ties approval of apt. permit modification to Court Square site

Community Board 2 on Oct. 3 voted down a request from the owner of the former 5Pointz property for minor modifications to the ongoing construction of more than 1,000 apartments — including affordable housing — at 22-44 Jackson Ave.

The board minutes later approved the request — provided the project sets aside 5,000 square feet for the embattled Court Square Library.

And Jerry Wolkoff, who owns the property with his son, David, wasn’t committing one way or the other following the second vote.

The Wolkoffs are building two towers on the former industrial site that for years was covered with street art or graffiti, depending on one’s point of view. The application now calls for 1,122 units, including 254 studio apartments, 595 one-bedroom units, 261 with two bedrooms and 12 with three bedrooms.

A total of 220 would be set aside as affordable in accordance with the city’s 421a tax exemption requirements.

The Wolkoffs have agreed to set aside some units as below-market apartments for artists as well as artist studio space. There will be 250 parking spaces.

“They never mentioned the library before tonight,” Jerry Wolkoff told the Chronicle.

The Court Square branch of the Queens Library has for decades been in the Citi Tower building, but with new owners could lose its lease as early as March.

Board 2’s Land Use Committee recommended approval. Committee member Stephen Cooper recommended the board follow suit, saying the modifications being requested to the existing special permit are minor ones, in some cases for elements as high as 300 feet in the air that would not be noticed by the public.

“If we reject it, the city will pass it anyway, I assure you,” Cooper told the board. “It is a minor modification.”

The changes initially were rejected by a vote of 20-8 before the proposal adding library space as a condition passed 23-5.

Wolkoff said he believes the board members were acting in good faith, but he declined to comment on the library space provision.

“I’ve got to talk to people,” he said.

Earlier in the evening, the board voted to oppose a proposed 17-story building at 51-22 Roosevelt Ave.

Richard Bass, a consultant for the developers, said the only issue requiring a special permit is the desired height —17 stories at a maximum of 210 feet.

Approval is needed because the site is within the flight obstruction area for LaGuardia Airport. Bass said the Federal Aviation Administration has given its OK. He also said if the developer were planning only 12 or 13 floors, they could do so as a matter of right.

“The only other requirement is for the FAA to say it is not a hazard, which it has,” he said.

The developer is planning 90 market-rate units. Plans also set aside public space for a charter school, though Bass said that could be changed to a senior center, daycare or some other public use.

The application was rejected because of its potential impact on and incompatibility with the surrounding neighborhood.