The paint job is preparation for a $400 million development project that will raise two glass towers and about 1,000 luxury apartments where 5Pointz rests. The graffiti site will be completely demolished by the end of the year.

The move comes despite opposition from numerous artists and supporters. Months of public debate and court hearings about the fate of 5Pointz have occurred, but a bid to have it designated as a landmark fell short.

As the city officials build, artists and locals are left to mourn. “I'm grieving right now. It was the largest aerosol art center in the world. You can never replace it," said Marie Cecile Flageul, who's a spokesperson for 5Pointz, according to the New York Daily News.

Decades' long site owners Jerry Wolkoff and his son David spearheaded the rebuilding project. Wolkoff said they had the right to do so after he allowed artists to do their work there for years. “No good deed goes unpunished,” he retorted. “In all the years, I've never had a cross word with any of them. I love what they did.”