Landmarks sends Hidrock’s Pavilion Theater plans back to drawing board

Commission notes "legitimate" concerns from residents, preservationists
August 19, 2015 02:10PM

The Landmarks Preservation Commission sent Hidrock Realty’s proposed condo conversion of the Pavilion Theater in Park Slope back to the drawing board Tuesday, citing issues with the redevelopment raised by residents and preservationists.

Landmarks chair Meenakshi Srinivasan noted “issues that are legitimate and definitely worth exploring” over the Morris Adjmi-designed plans, which call for an addition on the rooftop of the historic movie theater at 188 Prospect Park West.

The residential redevelopment would consist of 24 condos plus a movie theater smaller than the existing one in neo-Renaissance-style building, built in 1928. The Real Deal first reported Hidrock’s plans for the theater, which it bought for $16 million in 2006.

The planned renovation was the focus of much criticism from preservationists and Park Slope residents at Landmarks hearings, according to Brooklyn Eagle, with one describing it as “a disaster, visually and contextually.”

It also caught plenty of heat at a Community Board 6 meeting last month, with one audience member comparing it “the penitentiary that’s down in Sunset Park” – referring to Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center.

In April, Hidrock told TRD that evolving “movie attendance patterns” and the Pavilion’s inability to “maintain a quality operation appropriate for Park Slope and its surrounding neighborhoods” is motivating the theater’s residential conversion.

After the firm acquired the theater in 2006, Hidrock’s Abraham Hidary said that there was “no merit to ever thinking [the Pavilion] might be a conversion.” That led to City Council member Brad Lander criticizing the developer’s plans earlier this year, saying “it is deeply disappointing that they appear to be going back on their word.” [Brooklyn Eagle]Rey Mashayekhi