Stables stuck in limbo: W’Terrace barn’s buyer must pay thousands in fines before he can renovate it, city says

Stable-ized! Kensington Stables owners working on deal to sell barn to city
Photo by Jordan Rathkopf

A plan to transform Windsor Terrace’s Kensington Stables into a swanky new riding facility is at a standstill until the Red Hook concrete tycoon who bought the dilapidated barn ponies up thousands in fines, a Department of Buildings spokesman said.

Industrialist John Quadrozzi, Jr., who bought the 1930s-era property earlier this year, owes the city $6,000 for making non-permitted repairs to the barn after the agency slapped it with an immediate-vacate order when its roof partially collapsed last December, according to spokesman Andrew Rudansky, who said his bosses won’t sign-off on any permits needed to restore the stables until Quadrozzi coughs up the cash.

“As a result of the illegal work-without-a-permit violation, the owner of the building must resolve the civil penalty owed to the city before they can receive a permit for the repair work,” Rudansky said.

The Buildings Department signed off on emergency-work permits shortly after issuing the vacate order, so that Quadrozzi could install supports to stabilize the Caton Place barn’s roof to prevent it from further caving in, the spokesman said.

Instead of merely propping up the stables’ sagging ceiling, however, contractors removed a large section of the roof — an unauthorized fix that led agency inspectors to slap Quadrozzi with the fines in July, according to Rudansky.

And although the barn’s new owner submitted all the applications needed to begin transforming it into a mixed-use building with seven stories of apartments above a renovated horse-riding facility named Prospect Park Stables and operated by Quadrozzi’s Brooklyn Equine firm, the Buildings Department cannot legally issue permits for that work — or lift the still-active vacate order — as long as the fines remain unpaid, the agency rep said.

“If the owner pays the $6,000 penalty and resolves the violation today, their contractor will be allowed to get their permit,” the Rudansky said.

The vacate order indicates that the building is not safe to occupy, but Rudansky noted that agency inspectors found no evidence that the barn was in immediate danger of collapsing.

And the lingering violation apparently hasn’t stopped Quadrozzi from stabling steeds at the facility, where this reporter spotted horses inside as recently as Friday.

Quadrozzi, who purchased the property at auction after its former owners put it on the block to relieve debts, declined to comment on the unpaid fines, and the potential danger that continuing to operate the stables under the vacate order poses to horses and staff, saying only that he expects the barn’s planned makeover “to get underway shortly.”

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.