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There soon may be no more horsing around at the Pelham Parkway stables.
The rundown stables at 1680 Pelham Parkway South are going up for public auction after owner MOL Realty Co. failed to pay nearly $20,000 in back taxes owed to the city for the several years.
Bronx state Supreme Court Justice Stanley Green ruled the property is now up for grabs to the highest bidder.
Unless the current owner pays the back taxes, it’s likely that the two horses currently housed on the property will have to be moved.
That includes Rusty, the famed steed that became a symbol of alleged animal cruelty, with neighborhood activists demanding owner Buster Marengo take better care of the horse. But the ASPCA checked Rusty out and found him just fine.
These days it’s unclear whether Marengo gave up the horse. He hung up when a reporter phoned him, and his attorney, Aniello Grimaldi, did not return repeated phone calls.
As of last week two horses remained on the property in a trailer attached to the condemned small white brick stable.
Court-appointed attorney Edmond Pryor will conduct the future auction, to take place on any given Monday at 2 p.m. inside the Bronx County Courthouse.
Buyers need to hand over a 10% deposit at the auction, though MOL Realty Co. can keep ownership if they pay the tax lien in full on the auction date.
Legal notice ads will be posted in the The Bronx Times Reporter and The New York Law Journal two weeks before the auction. Bank of New York, which holds the tax lien certificate from the City of New York, can buy the property itself or auction it off to the highest bidder.
Once a winning bidder is picked, they will assume ownership of the property that sits next to two empty lots owned by Pelham Parkway Towers LLC. The company had planned to build a seven-story, 91-unit housing complex dubbed Pelham Parkway Towers, but that plan is now dormant.
Neighborhood activists contend efforts to relocate the horse were just a ploy related to expand the towers.
The property was a thriving horse academy in the 1980’s, dubbed Cy’s Pelham Parkway Riding Academy. It was owned by Peter Ciaffa, who since passed away.
Ownership was then transferred to Marengo, who has since hired a lawyer and refused to talk to the press.
The stables drew major media attention in September, 2012 when elected officials and animal rights groups rallied to get “Rusty” out of the condemned stable and moved to a better home.
“It’s a sad day that we no longer have the stables,” said Joanne Rubino, Community Board 11 member, who said it was “hard to sit through all the allegations that were made from people who were for the stable or against the stable.”
“If the stables could be run by someone who can manage them and have a viable business, then it will be a viable thing to the neighborhood,” said Rubino. “Is that going to happen? No. Could it happen? I don’t know.”
©2013 Community Newspaper Group
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