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RECORD AND GUIDE
June If, 1904
be more expensive, running up as high as $-45. The great demand
everywhere, of course, is for 2-family houses, which are being
erected wherever they will pay; but the sections in which these
are becoming futile propositions Is rapidly widening.
From interviews with leading real estate men, it was learned
that there are but few houses and apartments to rent. Lots fn
the outlying sections are quiet, but for sites along Prospect av
and the 'Boston road there was an unsatisfied demand. Boston
road lots command from seven to eight thousand dollars, and
when improved with new style houses the apartments rent for
$45 a month. Such houses sell for $40,000. James F. Meehan
has been an extensive operator on this avenue, and has gener¬
ally sold his houses from the plans. Michael Meehan has done
considerable in the neighborhood of Hewett place and Longwood
av, and has just bought more land. Private houses are not
being built within walking distances of the Elevated stations,
as one cannot well afford in this quarter to pay forty-five hun¬
dred or flve thousand dollars for a single lot and put only a
private house on it. Storekeepers pay any rent that is asked
in the best business sections.
A broker in the vicinity of 149th st said: "Nothing-is for sale
in this neighborhood at prices within reason. I think there will
be a lot of building before long in the Eastern section. Until
recently there has been little, as material costs too much for
people who can pay only thirty-five hundred for a dweiling.
Builders cannot afford to put up a house for that price. Flat
building is now in order. We have from four to flve hundred
apartments under our charge, with only three or four vacant.
Builders who formerly operated in the lower section of the
borough are going out along the Rapid Transit, A good many
flats are bringing fifteen per cent. These are the cheaper grade
—the 'cold water flats,' as they are called.
"We have had an increase in rents and values all around this
year. In tenement rentals, ten per cent.; twenty-five per cent, in
house values. Two thousand people are coming into the borough
every month; when the subway is completed the population will
increase ten thousand a month. Nothing can be bought along
the line of the Boulevard. Lots on 'Westchester av, between
Jackson and Prospect, are worth $6,000; between Prospect and
the Southern Boulevard, $4,500. Following the Rapid Transit
along, prices vary between four thousand and five thousand
until you reach West Farms, Right at West Farms a man with
a plot of four lots has refused fifty thousand dollars for it.
People who have been holding their land for years in expecta¬
tion of what is now coming axe not anxious to sell. I know of
a plot which six years ago sold for eighteen thousand dollars,
and is held at one hundred thousand dollars now. I remember
we used to get twelve dollars a month for the store across the
street: now we get one hundred and flfty.
'■I don't believe there is a place In the country where there are
better chances in real estate. All the section south is filled up,
and builders who have been operating there are going out into
the section served by the Rapid Transit, Gaines & Roberts and
Mr. Eagan among others, I think the Bronx will grow more in
the next two years than it has in the past ten."
Agents at West Farms reported that the flat 'builders had not
reached that section yet. There was a great demand for 2-family
houses and nothing to rent. The average price of dwellings was
from four thousand eight hundred to flve thousand. Lots on side
streets could be had for seven or eight hundred dollars, with
very much higher prices for choice sites. Van Nest Park is
characterized by great activity in building this Spring.
At the office of R. I. Brown's, Sons, 3428 Third avenue, it was
said: "We feel that the activity of the early spring will be con¬
tinued, though in a slightly modified way, owing to the fact that
n-iost of the builders are now engaged in improving properties
they have bought. Renters at the present time have very little
to choose from, but by early fall, when some of the new build¬
ings now being erected are completed, there will be a large va¬
riety of up-to-date apartments to select from, ranging In price
from $20 to $50 per month per apartment. Lots in good locations
outside of the so-called boom section are selling from $2,500 up,
prices being dependent upon local conditions as to condition of
streets, sewers and other improvements. Home sites can stili be
purchased in any portion of the Bronx, within five minutes' walk
of elevated or subway stations at frora $2,500 up, where the
streets are already sewered, regulated and graded and ready for
On Saturday, May 21, James L. Wells sold at public auction
130 lots desirably situated on and adjacent to Westchester ave-
nue and the Classon Point road (East 171st to 176th streets run
through the property). The prices secured range from $425 to
$1,425; most of the pieces brought between five and six hundred
every aspect of the hotel, and enables the reader to understand
what it means to design, equip and decorate such a building.
The issue also contains an historical and architectural account of
the Maison Frangois Premier, a charming Renaissance house
in Paris, some beautiful examples of modern decorative metallic
work, explained by Mr. Chas. de Kay; a plea for reconsideration
of the existing system of architects' charges, by Mr. Arne Dehli,
and flnally an account of the Ingalls building in Cincinnati—the
first concrete sky-scraper erected in this country.
The Architectural Record for Jure.
Anybody who is interested in the design and the decoration of
a modern hotel, will find the Architectural Record for June an
extremely attractive issue of that publication. The principal
article is a description of the new hotel St. Regis, built by John
Jacob Astor from plans by Trowbridge & Livingston, and very
much the most costly and carefully finished hotel building in New
York. The article is profusely illustrated by photographs oi
Change in the Money Situation,
A PLETHORA OF 'MONEY AND GOOD LOAN'S SCARCE,—
WHAT A BANK PRESIDENT SAYS.
Until recently money for real estate has been scarce. During
the past year large flnancial institutions apparently have not
only been unwilling, but, in many cases, have refused to make
The result has been, on the one hand, stringency in the real
estate market, and, on the other, the accumulation of money to
such an extent that the institutions do not know how to obtain
fair interest upon their funds.
A change of policy appears to have come. The Bowery Savings
Bank, a leader among savings banks, one of the largest in the
world, is not only placing money upon bond and mortgage, but is
making unusual efforts to get loans. In reply to enquiries made
by a representative of the Record and Guide, Mr. William H, S.
Wood, its president, said: "I do not know that I can tell you
anything that is not thoroughly well known to all who are con¬
nected with flnancial institutions. There is a plethora of money,
and good loans are scarce. There are a good many applica¬
tions, but many of them have been hawked about for three
months, and the borrower often wants more than he is en¬
■The out-of-town banks are leaving their money with us.
The amount of money to loan is rapidly increasing, and in my
judgment is apt to go on increasing for six months or a year, '
Such an accumulation of money happens every six or eight
years, and is usually accompanied by a panic. But we, as ;
people, have been making so much during the past few years
that this is not apt to happen now."
In reply to a question as to the rate of interest: "We do not
make any loans at less than 4^ per cent., and, in spite of the
constantly increasing abundance of money, I do not think that
the rate will go down,"
"Most of the banks for savings pay 3% per cent. We should
like to pay 4 per cent, if we could. A little more or less does not '
make so much difference to the rich, but to the poor every cent
counts. A difference of interest of only $15 in the course of the
year to the poor widow means the deprivatioli of sonn
"My Wall st friends say that 4^ is very high, but I observe.^
that the richest of them are not tying up their money at that
rate any more than they can help.
"The law which was passed some years ago enabling banks
for savings to invest in certain bonds has not worked out i
advantageous a manner as anticipated. The banks have not
lost money in these investments, but they would prefer to invest
their money in bond and mortgage.
"Every business change is felt by us. When labor is fully .
employed our deposits increase. When, within the past few days,
the New Haven strike came on, some of the longshoremen
immediately began drawing on their accounts.
"And, though the bulk of our depositors are from the very
poor, our resources are not freed from taxation. The -City taxes
our real estate, and the State our franchise. In order to protect'
the large number of people who make up our family, we must
not only exercise the greatest care, but must make the utmost _
effort to get the best loans. We have no such loans this year
as that made last year, for instance, upon the New York
Stock Exchange—over $2,000,000 in one loan, 'We are not getting
many good applications now, and that is the reason why we
are advertising in those papers which appeal to the residents of
the East Side and in those which reach the owners of larger
and more valuable properties,"
The largest building operation in the city now actually under
way is the power house for the Rapid Transit Railway Construc¬
tion Co.. at llth and 12th avs and SSth to 59th sts. It is a
scene of great activity. Contractor John Peirce, of 277 Broad¬
way, having a large staff of mechanics employed on the work.
The structure is in various stages of completion, about two-
thirds of it being enclosed and the unfinished end being boarded
up. On the westerly end old buildings are being demolished and
concrete foundations are being Jaid. The structure is more an
engineering task than an architectural problem or design, though
the enclosing walls of light cream brick are appropriately de¬
signed. There is a high base of granite, a series of tall, round-
arched window openings, alternating with pilasters, and a heavy
cornice marking the roof line. Four of the five tall, round
chimneys are finished. On the interior the building is a vast
space fllled with scaffolding and other appliances of building.
The roof is an immense trussed one, with no break in its entire