Brooklyn’s Grand Prospect Hall Slated for Demolition
The days of making dreams come true might be over for Grand Prospect Hall.
The property may be knocked down after its new owner filed demolition permits last month for Brooklyn’s historic banquet hall at 263 Prospect Avenue, The Brooklyn Paper reported.
The hall was one of 12 properties sold in a $30 million assemblage in July — covering 73,104 square feet of space between Fifth and Sixth avenues in Park Slope. The hall alone was sold for $22.5 million, Commercial Observer reported.
The buyer, Angelo Rigas, under the entity Gowanus Cubes, filed plans to level the structures, per The Brooklyn Paper. What will replace the hall is unclear. Rigas’ father, Gregory Rigas, previously built several projects in Brooklyn, including a rental tower at 574 Fourth Avenue.
While the iconic Brooklyn hall was entered into the National Register of Historic Places in 1999, it is not landmarked and can be demolished, The Brooklyn Paper reported.
Grand Prospect Hall, owned by Michael and Alice Halkias for nearly 40 years, was defined by its iconic, low-budget, and seemingly always-on-TV commercials which promised to make a couple’s dreams come true. The ads became so well known that the duo had no problem booking hundreds of events a year.
The hall’s commercials were parodied by “Saturday Night Live” and the couple even appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live”. Michael Halkias died at the age of 82 due to the coronavirus in May 2020 — a shock to the borough that fondly remembered his local airwave appearances — and, a little over a year later, his commercial co-star and wife Alice Halkias signed off on the sale of the hall to Angelo Rigas.
Rigas had previously planned to build an 11-story hotel that would replace the garage on the land next door to the hall, but that never materialized and the business shut down when the pandemic began, according to The Brooklyn Paper.
Rigas and Alice Halkias did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Celia Young can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.