About 50 Brooklynites joined Grand Prospect Hall owner Michael Halkias at a public meeting last night to discuss making his dreams a reality. Specifically, his dream to turn the parking lot next to his huge classic/cheesy South Slope wedding hall into the Hotel Grand Prospect, a zoning-busting 166-room hotel. (Visuals above!) Neighbors don't always go for this sort of thing, so Halkias has a plan to appease them: a 400-spot, five-story parking garage below the hotel that neighborhood residents will be able to use when it's not needed for Grand Prospect events. As Halkias put it at the meeting, "I am bringing to you a magnificent cake, a magnificent cake, my parking garage." Um, delicious?
cake parking has already won over many community members, including Business Improvement District honchos and Chamber of Commerce folks, who point out that the bulk of the hotel would be facing the Prospect Expressway, and the easily accessible garage would remove spot-chasing roaming cars from the streets during events. And one local rabbi pointed out that the hotel would make a perfect all-in-one Sabbath hangout for the Jewish populations of Williamsburg, Crown Heights, and Bed Stuy. If a rabbi isn't enough to convince Park Slope that the 11-story building is a good idea, maybe the flier in the gallery above will. Get smiley, neighbors!
But some prefer not to mix exhaust with their dessert. The opposition has concerns, like the impact on local traffic and the environment and the possible infrastructure and sewage problems posed by a larger structure in the neighborhood. Urgh, now we definitely don't want to think about cake! The Grand Prospect team has not yet conducted any of the traffic studies or environmental assessments for the site yet, because, as the project's lawyer said, "We didn't want anyone to think we were moving forward with the project" without community input. It will take three to four months to get those studies done, which appears to put things at a bit of an impasse for now. All the plans are still very preliminary, but have a look (IMBY has even more pictures). Should these dreams come true? We all know what happens if they don't.
?Reporting by Maggie Shaw.