A surprising new proposal for 192 Prospect Park West, the one-story brick building next to the former Pavilion theater in the Park Slope Historic District Extension, will go in front of the Landmarks Preservation Commission this morning.
Developer Hidrock Properties plans to restore much of the building’s early 20th century appearance and function as stores. Window and door openings and a bracketed cornice will be reconstructed along with, apparently, the appearance of the original brick and its striped pillars. A gabled entrance at the far end will not be resurrected, according to the renderings.
At a time when development is changing the profile of much of the borough, the proposal is remarkable because in 2015, the LPC approved a six-story condo building here, along with the redevelopment of the cinema building next door with more condos and a smaller theater.
Rare is the developer who forgoes an opportunity to turn a one-story building into six stories of condos. At the time, though, there was widespread criticism of a perceived failure to integrate the condo plan into the architectural styles of the surrounding neighborhood, with some comparing the design to a penitentiary.
Built circa 1922 to 1923, the one-story structure last housed Circles, which one reviewer on Yelp said had an ambience that was “reminiscent of the couple of VFW restaurants I’ve eaten at.” It closed in 2007.
Perhaps Hidrock was content to nearly double its money. After purchasing the theater and the adjoining site for $16 million in 2006, the firm sold just the theater for $28 million to a group of investors intending to lease it to Williamsburg’s trendy dine-and-watch Nitehawk Cinema, whose owner had previously expressed interest.
Renovations are ongoing, and Nitehawk plans to open in the spring.
Why the change of heart?
Hidrock’s Steven J. Hidary told the New York Times in 2016 that “we had to decide, do we build condos or do we save Brooklyn? So we saved Brooklyn.”
- The Former Pavilion Theater Is Getting Ready for Its Nitehawk Debut (Photos)
- Pavilion Theater Condos Plan Compared to Penitentiary, Conditionally Approved
- Landmarks Commission Approves Condo Addition for Pavilion Theater in Park Slope