‘Grand’ threat? Hotel plan includes not-so-subtle warning

‘Grand’ threat? Hotel plan includes not-so-subtle warning
Photo by Bess Adler

Make our dreams come true — or else!

That’s what Michael and Alice Halkias, owners of the posh Grand Prospect Hall banquet palace, are saying to neighbors whose support they need at a meeting tonight concerning their controversial plan to build an 11-story hotel on Prospect Avenue between 15th and 16th streets.

The bizarre gambit is detailed in a flier the Halkias’ distributed about the project, first reported on BrooklynPaper.com this week.

“If Grand Prospect Hall cannot compete with the ‘Mega Hotel Grand Ballrooms’ for the daily corporate business and the major institutional work … the alternate course would be to cater to a low end clientele with limited budgets, limited options, but with large numbers,” the document reads.

“The need for profitability will override any consideration of lifestyle, even if it may be undesirable — only profitability and group size will matter.”

The flier’s tone appalled residents.
“It sounds like a threat to me, and I don’t like being threatened,” said 16th Street resident Bo Samajopoulos. “Is he saying that he is going to bring lowlifes here on purpose just to screw with us?”

Michael Halkias said there is no ultimatum.

“It’s not a threat — it’s very simple math,” he said. “We are looking for Plan A. We are elegant people, and we want to compete at the same level as our competitors, who have sleeping space and parking.”

The catering hall’s motto is, “We make your dreams come true” — and it has has been doing so for 120 years, the last 30 under the Halkiases’ ownership. In the flier, the couple boasts of that longevity.

“We were here a long time ago, before any normal person would dare populate this socially wild west community,” the flier reads. “We are the originals in the territory and we mean to continue serving you all.”

The problem is, the project is nearly twice the area’s legal building height of six stories, and will require a variance from the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals.

Halkias said he has yet to submit paperwork to the city that would trigger a formal public review, and Thursday’s meeting is simply an informal presentation of the plans.

Photo by Bess Adler

The Hotel Grand Prospect presentation to Community Board 7 will be at PS 10 [511 Seventh Ave. between Prospect Avenue and 17th Street in Park Slope, (718) 854-0003], Jan. 13, 6:30 pm.