ST. GEORGE — A long-shuttered banquet hall built nearly 180 years ago on Richmond Terrace got the green light this week to return to its former glory.
Last year, Lawyer Kecia Weaver and her husband purchased the landmarked Pavilion on the Terrace, which sits at 404 Richmond Terrace and had served as a catering hall from 1983 until 2005. The couple plan to renovate the dilapidated inside of the historic building, and revitalize it as a catering hall, Weaver said.
"I think everybody's going to be excited," said Weaver, whose project got the nod from Community Board 1 this week. "It's a nice building, but I'm looking to really make it gorgeous."
The mansion's exterior still remains in mostly decent shape, but the inside was mostly destroyed because of a leaky roof and years of water damage, Weaver said.
"The inside is just a total mess," she said. "The walls are peeling, the walls are lopsided. We're pretty much going to have to gut it out."
She said she has a crew all ready to start work — which she expects to take between eight months to a year to complete — and is just waiting from approval for the city to start work.
Weaver needs a zoning variance through the city's long Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) to use the space as a catering hall again, and got one step closer to it at Tuesday night's Community Board 1 meeting.
The board unanimously agreed to approve the zoning variance, provided the owner promises to adhere to "good neighbor" laws and keep the noise down late at night and not to play amplified music on the second floor.
Weaver said the upper-level only has space for around 50 people, and was only planning on using it for small gatherings or dinners.
The landmarked building was built in 1835 and is the last of five Greek revival mansions left in the neighborhood from that time, according to the New York Times.
"I keep telling myself it was meant to be," she said. "I wanted it then, and now five or six years later we have it."
The application will now have to go through the ULURP process, get approval from the borough president, the Board of Standards and Appeal, then the City Council, before getting permission from the mayor's office, according to ULURP rules.
But Weaver was just excited to pass the first hurdle, and said she can't wait to get started on construction.
"We've been ready," she said. "I hired all my guys prior to even buying the building."