James van Bramer

Quinn 'kin' denies campaign cash wrongdoing

by Gerard Flynn
July 16, 2013

Queens City Councilman James van Bramer finally went public last week about $8,000 in campaign contributions he has received from family members of 5Pointz developer Gerald Wolkoff.

Campaign finance records show that van Bramer, who represents Council District 26 in western Queens, received $2,750 each from the developer's sons David and Adam Wolkoff, the maximum amount allowed under campaign finance rules for a candidate for City Council. A spouse of the former, Stephanie Wolkoff, who runs the Fashion Week at Lincoln Center, donated the final $2,500, early this year.

Wolkoff Sr. plans to raze the 5-story, 200,000 square foot mural-covered warehouse on Davis St. in Long Island City.

Since the mid-1990s, Wolkoff had been allowing aerosol artists from the neighborhood and around the world to use the famed site as their spray canvas. In 2009, a serious accident forced him to shutter its interior from artist use, but the exterior walls remain a globally known graffiti landmark – and significant tourist attraction for Queens.

Wolkoff intends to replace the building with two residential towers. Zoning rules allow for a bulky development, as-of-right, which would add more than 600 residential units to the immediate area. Long Island City's real estate market has been flourishing with upscale condos and rentals since the area was rezoned by City Hall in 2004.

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