From dilapidated to dazzling, of the in West Hempstead is nearly complete.
Patch received an exclusive sneak peek Saturday of the Eagle Avenue facility, which now houses a state-of-the-art indoor riding arena and luxurious stalls for its horses.
"Within the next 30 to 45 days, this place will be complete," owner and Five Towns native Alex Jacobson told Patch.
At this point, the new building, including the 30,000 square foot enclosed riding arena, is 100 percent done. Ten of the new, bigger and better stalls have been installed and are already being enjoyed by their four-legged tenants.
"We've designed this place for the horses," Jacobson said, as he described the "luxurious" stalls, which are 8 feet high and come in three sizes - 10 by 12, 12 by 12 and 12 by 12 with private paddocks."
The third option basically provides "the horse with its own patio behind its stall," he said.
The stalls also contain roughly two inches of padding on the floor to preserve the horses most important assets, their feet, anti-cribbing rails, fans and automatic water dispensers so the animals will always have fresh water. Inside, boarders will also find their own private tack boxes with locks.
The main aisle is now much bigger so two horses can safely pass through and the entire building is "pretty much fire-proof," Jacobson explained.
When the horse steps out of its stall it then continues to walk on cushioned rubber pavers to get to the indoor arena, where the floor is even kinder on its hooves. The arena floor is made up of a synthetic blend, which to Jacobson's knowledge, is the best surface available right now in the equestrian world. It's also dust-free, which is better for the horses' and riders' respiratory systems, and friendlier to residents who live closeby.
The 7,000 square foot mezzanine, which will seat 99, has also been installed.
"What's left to do is some electrical and plumbing [work], and the driveways and parking lots," Jacobson said, along with the installation of dozens of other pre-fab horse stalls.
Right now, the facility is only open for its summer campers and boarders wishing to reserve a stall. ("Only a few spaces are left ... the facility is 85 percent sold out," Jacobson added.)
Within the next couple of weeks, Jacobson expects to begin offering lessons once again and trail rides throughout later in the summer. He also plans to throw a big, grand opening celebration at the end of the summer and host its first horse show in late 2012.
Jacobson says the since indoor facility is energy-efficient and climate-controlled, he'll be able to host six major events throughout the year, including horse shows, rodeos and perhaps, even a Medievel times event. Riders can also enjoy the sport year-round.
"Rain days and snow days don't exist anymore," he added.
New services have also been added so now boarders can call-ahead to have their horses pre-tacked for them.
"We'll take take care of all their riding needs ... All they'll need to do is ride," Jacobson said.
In the future, the facility will also house an eatery and eventually, a gym.
Along with its new look and amenities, the stables also has a new name -- New York Equestrian Center.
"Lakewood Stables was something that opened seven years ago. It was a small stable, outdoors and quite frankly, dilapidated," said Jacobson, who had originally purchased the property in 2006 with the intent to demolish the stables and build condos on the land.
After learning of the community's love for the historic stables though, the only one remaining on the South Shore of Nassau County, he had a change of heart and decided to go into the equine business instead. He did eventually the unsafe and worn-down stables in April 2011, and did erect condos afterall, only these are exclusively for horses!
"Now, we are the New York Equestrian Center, because we're able to house all these major events," he said. "We're going to be a center for horses and for the public. It's a much bigger endeavor."
Scroll through the photos to get an exclusive look at the new equestrian center. Check back later today for video too!