Developer revises plans for Pavilion Theater

Park Slope’s Pavilion Theater development redesign is a go.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), which must rule on all structural changes within landmark districts, unanimously approved revised plans for the project and granted a certificate of appropriateness for the design on Tuesday, October 20, paving the way for developer Hidrock Realty to proceed, said Ethan Geto, a spokesperson for Hidrock.

The decision comes after community feedback put plans for the development of the theater and the property next to it—formerly Circle’s Restaurant—on hold. Reacting to community sentiment that the original proposal might not “fit in” with the surroundings of the historic site, located directly across from Prospect Park, Hidrock submitted revised and slightly toned down plans for the proposed six-story condo building.

“Landmarks was very satisfied that Hidrock and its architects, Morris Adjmi, had addressed [community concerns] and addressed them well and appropriately,” Geto told this paper.

In renderings completed by Morris Adjmi Architects, the firm behind the building’s design, revisions include a fifth floor that is set back six feet, a stronger and more prominent cornice matching the protrusion of the neighboring cornice, a less conspicuous ground floor to match the residential character of the area, a warmer color of brick, and a reduced sixth floor, coming down from 12 feet to 10 feet to give it a less conspicuous look above the theater, among other changes.

Additionally Hidrock addressed concerns of community members as well as local elected officials regarding the preservation of theater itself, and maintaining it as such.

“When news broke that Hidrock was planning to eliminate the movie theater –- and replace it with generic ground-floor retail as part of their conversion of the building into condominiums — I voiced my concern loudly,” said Councilmember Brad Lander. “There’s been a movie theater on the spot for over 100 years, and a neighborhood movie theater is one great part of Park Slope.”

After negotiating with Lander, Hidrock agreed to keep the theater and scale back the fifth floor in order to have the theater “appear more prominent as a focal point,” as written in the plan’s revisions.

Additional revisions to the building’s plan include a 12-inch reveal between the theater and the new building—creating a separation between building masses so the new building will not crowd or dwarf the theater, and a two-foot lower ridgeline on the rooftop addition to match more closely the roofline of the theater.

According to the LPC, with the commission’s approval under its belt, Hidrock must submit final construction drawings to finalize the commission’s decision. A permit to begin work is only issued after a complete review of the final construction drawings is completed—to ensure that the final plans are “consistent with the proposal approved by the commissioners,” according to the LPC.

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