Historic stable-turned-parking garage in Bed-Stuy transformed into modern condo development

The former stable at 524 Halsey St. this week.
Photo by Anna Bradley-Smith

A landmarked historic stable-turned-parking garage on Bed-Stuy’s Halsey Street is nearing completion as a sleek new condo development, after years of stops and starts and a change of owners.

In recent weeks, finishing touches have been applied to the exterior of the long, low-rise building at 524 Halsey St.. Paving is being installed in the front and some apartments, complete with marble countertops and white finishes, have been staged with furniture, a peek through the windows revealed.

While locals had hoped a historic painted sign advertising the original use of the building would be preserved on the western facade, it appears to have vanished during the construction process. An Instagram post from developer The Brooklyn Home Company shows other signs were also present inside the more than 100-year-old building, prior to the renovation.

Photo by Anna Bradley-Smith

The wrapping up of the historic brownstone project, with its bright new windows and stable-style doors, comes after years of stalled work and a change in developers from Brookland Capital to The Brooklyn Home Company. The latter bought the circa-1900 building for $10.1 million in 2018, city records show.

Founded in 2007 by brother-sister developer and design duo Bill and Lyndsay Caleo Karol, and her husband, sculptor Fitzhugh Karol, The Brooklyn Home Company has grown into a fully fledged development and design firm specializing in historic boutique condos and townhouses in Brooklyn, such as 1 Sidney Place in Brooklyn Heights (now in contract with Glossier founder Emily Weiss).

A 2022 rendering of the project presented to the LPC.Image via The Brooklyn Home Company

While plans for the refurbishment were presented to LPC as far back as 2016, it wasn’t until recently that work really kicked off. The historic structure was completely gutted and turned into a shell before the build out began. The design was presented again to the LPC for final approval in 2022. The emerging structure closely resembles the final rendering, albeit without street planting yet. Robert Litchfield Architects is the architect of record, permits show.

Construction workers on site Wednesday said the building will be ready for showing shortly and a thorough cleaning of construction dust will have it looking bright and ready.

The building in 2017.Photo by Susan De Vries

According to The Brooklyn Home Company’s website, the team “carefully preserved the original historic landmarked facade and stone rubble foundation, incorporating those features into our new construction.” The finished product will contain 31 apartments, according to The Brooklyn Home Company, but according to the Department of Buildings, there will be 33 units.

The developer’s website says the condo building will have a mix of townhomes, duplexes, and simplex apartments, and sales will launch this month, with prices starting at $985,000. According to the prospectus, the development has a value of $44.303 million.

Originally the Opera Stables, the Queen Anne-style brick structure is in the Bedford Stuyvesant/Expanded Stuyvesant Heights Historic District. The building was most likely constructed circa 1904, according to the designation report. Newspaper ads confirm stables operating on the site, including ads for F.W. Hayward’s Palatial Stables in 1892 and the Opera Boarding and Livery Stables operated by William J. Moser in 1899.

In 1902, the Real Estate Record and Builder’s Guide recorded plans for a “brick and stone automobile stable” to be constructed at 536 Halsey Street by owner William J. Moser. A photo from the 1930s shows that the Opera name survived the change from horse to car, with signage on the building marking it as The Opera Garage.

A single-story garage pictured in 2017 was demolished for the project.Photo by Susan De Vries

In 1936, it was announced in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle that the building known as the Opera Stable, “which supplied coaches for many prominent social events of the old days,” was going to be “modernized” by a new lease holder, F. and B. Company. The circa 1940s tax photo shows it operating as the Opera Garage, and the 1980s photo is complete with a number of vintage cars outside signaling it was still open for business.

To make way for the new condo development, an early 20th century one-story brick garage adjoining the stable building that was also used as part of the garage was demolished and replaced by a building that appears to be a continuation of 524 Halsey Street (they share the same address).

This story first appeared on Brooklyn Paper’s sister site Brownstoner.