In the Headlines
February 27, 2018

What South Florida Developers Can Learn From New York’s $6.7M Graffiti Case

Real estate attorneys Gavin Williams and Elena Otero share their valuable input in an article on the effects of graffiti art on property values. This article follows the Jonathan Cohen et. al v. G&M Realty L.P. et al. district court case decision involving the culturally significant 5Pointz property in Queens, which set forth a rationale for protecting graffiti and street art.

“First and foremost, the 5Pointz case stands for the proposition that street art can be more than vandalism or a random act with a spray can. Street art can be culturally important art worthy of recognized stature under [the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 (VARA)],” says Ms. Otero.

“The 5Pointz court noted that while [the real estate developer] and the impacted artists all generally knew that the property would one day be redeveloped, they had not reduced that understanding to a writing that waived VARA’s protections,” Mr. Williams added. “Owners contemplating permitted street art on a property should heed this finding and, prior to permitting any work to be installed on their building, set forth the understanding between artists and owners as to the longevity of the work in question and whether or not artists are waiving or retaining their VARA rights.”

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