Developers set to pony up for horse stables

Hansom cab owners circle the wagons as real estate execs make tempting offers
February 24, 2014 09:46AM

As Mayor Bill de Blasio pushes to ban horse-drawn carriages from Central Park, developers and investors are on the prowl for the city’s stables. The owners of four stables, including carriage driver Cornelius Byrne of Central Park Carriages on West 37th Street, are regularly contacted with offers.

“The highest and best use of this real estate is not as horse stables,” Robert Knakal, chair of Massey Knakal Realty Services, said. “The development rights are worth a heck of a lot more than the buildings currently there.”

Byrne’s 7,000-square-foot property is surrounded by the Related Companies’ and Brookfield Properties’ planned skyscrapers. Byrne refuses to sell the stable, which has room for 17 horses. He sold a stable at 11th Avenue in 2001 for $1.2 million after buying it in $44,000 in 1976.

His stable and another nearby one known as West Side Livery are worth about $10 million each, Knakal told Bloomberg News. The proposed extension of the 7 subway train to 11th Avenue factors into the stables’ estimated value. [Bloomberg News]Mark Maurer