Larry Prospect, a longtime merchant of White Plains Road and most recently the executive director of the White Plains Road Business Improvement District, passed away after a lifetime of service to the community.
Prospect was the proprietor of the Nat Prospect Menswear, a clothing store at 2192 White Plains founded by his father in 1930 which Larry Prospect ran until it was sold in 2002, his wife Ethel Prospect said. He was 74 years old and passed away from cancer, she said.
After retiring from his retail clothing business, Prospect, who had been the president of a White Plains Road merchants association, became executive director of the White Plains Road Business Improvement District after just a month-long break, said White Plains Road BID chairman Howard Spring, a property owner at 2151 to 2183 White Plains Road.
“He was very good in being our voice,” Spring said. “When there was an issue that was important to the BID, he was out their advocating it zealously and forcefully. He was a great liaison to the community, police department, and to the city.”
Former Community Board 11 district manager John Fratta said that Prospect is going to be sorely missed because it is very difficult to find people as dedicated and passionate as he was when it comes to the business and residential community.
“He worked day and night to insure the success of the business strip,” Fratta said. “Anything that was going on he was involved in.”
Prospect’s dedication to seeing the community thrive grew from the fact that he lived in the Pelham Parkway neighborhood, Ethel Prospect said.
“He grew up and lived in the Pelham Parkway community for his entire life,” Ethel Prospect said. “He wanted to make sure that Pelham Parkway remained very desirable and viable so that people would want to move here, live here, and shop here.”
Prospect often shared his wisdom from his years of working side-by-side with his father Nat Prospect and later as the proprietor of his store, with newer merchants in the White Plains Road BID, said BX Sports owner Vincenzo Cafaro, who opened his first store in 1997 and currently has a location at 2181 White Plains Road.
“He would always say that back-in-the-day, this was how this or that was done,” Cafaro stated. “We were always on the same page with retail, and we spoke about it often.”
Prospect often gave his own money to help community causes like the annual holiday food drive sponsored by the 49th Precinct Community Council, said council president Joe Thompson.
Prospect’s business hired and employed people who were from the neighborhood, including at on one point, Thompson’s own son, Thompson said.
Prospect attended local schools, including P.S. 105, J.H.S. 113, and Christopher Columbus High School, before he went to City College, his wife said.