Park Slope

Pavilion Theater condo-conversion plan heads for Aug. 4 Landmarks hearing

July 24, 2015 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The proposed condo conversion of Park Slope's Pavilion Theater (the building at right) would include the construction of a new companion building (the white building at the center of the rendering). Rendering by Morris Adjmi Architects
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One Park Slope resident thinks it looks like “a penitentiary in Sunset Park.”

Another believes it’s “more appropriate to SoHo” because of the “grid” of industrial-style windows that covers its façade.

Hidrock Realty heads towards an Aug. 4 city Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing with a condo-conversion plan for the Pavilion Theater that some Park Slope residents really don’t like.

The developer’s proposed Pavilion makeover calls for the distinctive movie house at 188 Prospect Park West to have condos on all but its first floor, which would have a smaller movie theater than the nine-screen theater that’s currently in the building. An additional story would be added to the roof.

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The neo-Renaissance-style theater, which opened in 1928, is located in the Park Slope Historic District Extension, which became a landmarked area in 2012. So is the vacant single-story building at 190 Prospect Park West, which housed Circles, a now-shuttered restaurant.

The portion of the proposed development that’s the main cause of residents’ displeasure is a new building that would be constructed after the empty restaurant building is demolished.

Hidrock Realty purchased the Pavilion building through an LLC for $16 million in 2006, city Finance Department records indicate. It bought the restaurant building through an LLC for $3,090,750 in 2012, the records show.

The proposed new building would have a limestone base and buff brick upper floors, preservation consultant Ward Dennis said at a Thursday night Community Board 6 meeting where residents got a good look at project renderings and an architectural model.

The sixth floor, set back from the new building’s cornice, would be clad with corrugated zinc, Wesley Wolfe of Morris Adjmi Architects said at the meeting — which is where residents compared the proposed new building to a penitentiary and a SoHo property and made numerous other critical comments.

In addition to the first-floor movie theater, there would be a total of 24 condos and 16 parking spaces in the Pavilion building and the new building, Greenberg Traurig attorney Jay Segal said at the meeting.

The entry door for all the condos and the parking garage entrance would be placed on the 14th Street side of the Pavilion building, which also would have windows cut into it.

The proposed new building would have a curving façade on the side facing Bartel-Pritchard Square.

This memorial park for two Brooklyn soldiers who died in combat in World War I is called a square though it’s shaped like a circle, and so is the street running around it.

Several people who spoke at the Community Board 6 meeting held at the 78th Police Precinct complained that the proposed ghost-white new building wouldn’t harmonize with the neighboring crescent-shaped row of peachy-toned brick Renaissance Revival-style multifamily buildings on Bartel-Pritchard Square.

“They’re putting up a structure that’s not contributing to the circle,” said Peter Bray, who noted that he was offering his personal opinion rather than speaking in his capacity as a Park Slope Civic Council trustee-at-large.

At the meeting, the Community Board 6 Landmarks Committee unanimously voted its conditional approval of the design.

The committee set these conditions:

* The cornice of the new building should be lowered to match that of the adjacent building on Bartel-Pritchard Square.

* The first floor of the new building should be reflective of Bartel-Pritchard Square’s residential character.

* The new building’s brick color should be toned down to light brown and the windows’ rhythms should be more like those of other Park Slope Historic District buildings.   

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