The Shamrock Stables on West 45th Street in Manhattan is in a serious need of a “bale” out in the next two weeks as it is about to lose its home in New York.
Shamrock Stables, which houses some of the carriage horses in Central Park, has been housed on the West Side of the city for 41 years, but on June 1 it looks like it will lose its premises.
The property rented from New York City by Ian McKeever, the Co. Meath-born owner and manager of Shamrock Stables, has been sold to Gotham Construction for development of a multi-use luxury/affordable housing apartment complex.
According to McKeever, to date the city has not offered alternative rental space for the stables. This could result in 25 people (one third of the city’s carriage drivers) out of work and force the horses into retirement in Pennsylvania if the city follows through on the eviction of the legendary midtown Manhattan stable.
McKeever told the Irish Voice on Tuesday he feels “very vulnerable and scared.”
“It’s a bad economic time and things are not good,” he added.
If evicted on June 1 the relocation of the stables would mean skyrocketing rent, something, said McKeever “we can’t afford in today’s Manhattan real estate market.”
“Our rent would go up 1,200 percent.”
In a last ditch effort to get the city to offer the 41-year horse stable a new lease on life, workers, family members and supporters of Shamrock Stables organized a press conference on Tuesday to plead with the city to offer them a new lease in another location.
The Shamrock Stables opened its doors on June 10, 1968. It is home to 22 carriage horses and the work place of over 25 unionized carriage drivers (Teamsters Local 553) and stable hands.
This past January the city commenced an eviction proceeding in Manhattan Civil Court, and Shamrock Stables was granted an adjournment, but the order expires on June 1 and the stable is now subject to an immediate eviction and padlocking.
“The horse drawn carriage industry is an iconic part of New York City, and Shamrock Stables has been a fixture in Manhattan for over four decades,” said McKeever,
“All we are asking the city is to help us find an affordable, stable home for our horses so we can continue our livelihoods. The Yankees, Mets and Goldman Sachs all got one; we need a ‘bale’ out too. Without one, we will be forced out of business and our horses will have no home.”
If the city doesn’t offer alternative accommodations, McKeever said they “don’t have any back up plan at this stage.”
“We don’t know where we will go or what we can do. We just hope that the city will find us an alternative solution,” he added.
A lot can happen in two weeks, so McKeever is keeping his fingers crossed that he won’t have to close the door on his business and put 25 men, mainly Irish, out of work when the season is just about to get busy.
“Hopefully in two weeks the Irish Voice will be running a story about a new home for the Shamrock Stables,” he added.