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Developers Eye Stables Freed By Looming Carriage Horse Ban

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BdB's pledge to ban horse-drawn carriages in Central Park begs the question: what will happen to the city's four operating carriage-horse stables? Turns out the horse homes—all found on the booming far West Side—are like candy for developers who realize that the development rights behind these paltry buildings are far more valuable than what's on the lots. All four stable lots are zoned for commercial and residential buildings, some even for hotels, Bloomberg points out. "The highest and best use of this real estate is not as horse stables," Massey Knakal chairman Robert Knakal told Bloomberg; a 2013 market report issued by the brokerage firm claims that prices for Manhattan development sites jumped 22 percent last year, to an average of $445 per square foot, with commercial building prices averaging $1,041 per square foot.

A 7,000-square-foot functioning stable on West 37th Street, purchased in 1979 for $90,000, could fetch up to $10 million. The West Side Livery, a 9,600-square-foot stable a block north, is in the same ballpark. The city's two other stables, west of Eleventh Avenue on 48th and 52nd streets, find themselves in the immediate vicinity of the Hudson Yards development. Purchased in 2005 for $4 million, the city's largest carriage horse stable housing some 79 of the estimated 150 carriage horses, is a 35,000-square-foot cooperatively-owned building on West 52nd Street. "We didn't buy this land to sell it," the stable manager and owner told Bloomberg.

On the contrary, a stable that has been retrofitted as a luxury commercial site on East 38th Street has hit the market for nearly $10 million, double what it was purchased for in 2005, Crain's reports. There are 4,000 square feet of unused development rights on the landmarked building's property. Whatever addition the building will inevitably host will have to be passed by the Landmark's Preservation Commission, a hurdle that isn't in place for the functioning-but-less-beautiful stables on the far West Side, which aren't long for this world.
· NYC Stables in DeveloperCrosshairs as Carriage Ban Looms [Bloomberg]
· Former horse stable on East Side up for grabs [Crains]

Hudson Yards

, Manhattan, NY 10001