A decades-old horse stable near the southern end of Prospect Park has become an unlikely source of contention as the federal bankruptcy court moves to auction it. Councilman Brad Lander, whose district includes Gowanus, Windsor Terrace, and parts of Kensington, has issued a statement saying he’d refuse to support a rezoning of the property should its new owner not commit to preserving it as horse stables.
The property at 55 Caton Place at East 8th Street has been home to Kensginton Stables since 1930, and provides community access to guided horse rides along Prospect Park’s 3.5-mile bridle path. Kensington Stables also once housed horses from Gallop NYC, a non-profit that uses therapeutic horsemanship to help New Yorkers with disabilities build developmental, emotional, social, and physical skills, per the statement.
“[T]he community strongly supports the preservation of a horse stable at this location, and...bidders should be clear about this expectation,” Lander writes. The auction, originally poised to take place on February 23, has been delayed until further notice. A representative for the City Council says that the prices discussed by potential bidders suggest that condos are being considered for the site.
The location of the stables—one block from Prospect Park and just west of the parade grounds—makes it a contender for a high-end residential redevelopment. Similar sites along the southern and eastern border of the park have given way to pricey residential developments, like 123 On the Park that overtook the former Caledonian Hospital and The Parkline, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens’s 23-story rental tower.