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AND BUILDERS* GUIDE.
Vol. X. NEW YOEK, SATURDAY, NOVExVIBER 30, 1872. No. 246.
Publlthed Weekly bv
THE REAL IS TATE RECORD ASSOCIATION.
One year, in advance......................§6 00
All communications should he addressed to
C. ^S7^. SWTGBT.
7 AND 9 Warren Strkht.
No receipt for money due the ReaTj Est.\te Record
will be acknowledged unless signed by one of our regular
collectors. Henrv b. S.mitii or Tho.mas F. Cujlmings.
All biUs for collection will be sent from the office on a regci-
larly priiited form.
OuB Brooklyn readers are directed to the card of Messrs.
Burnett & Sawkins, who,have recently started in bu.=n-
nesB for themselves us Plumber.^ ,aiid Gas Fitters .after hav¬
ing worked as such, in responsible positions, for more thaii
tea yeara with the leading house in that line in Brooklyn.
IMPROVED AND UNIMPROVED PROPERTY.
The market for improved property shows no
upward tendencies. A few Aveeks ago tbe gen¬
eral quietude of the market was attributed to
the excitement consequent on the political
can:paign. -Just at present the stagnation is
said to be one of the effects of the fire at Bos¬
ton, -which has created a .general feeling of
insecurity in the stability of an investment in
improved property. Dealers say also that the
distrust which has been excited as to the effi¬
ciency of the New York Fire Department, or
rather in regard to the water supply and the
power of our steamers, serves in a very great
degi-ee to deteriorate the market, and drives
out the speculators. Two y^ars ago, when the
furor for improved properby was raging to
Buoh au .extent, men Avould buy one day at a
high rate, and if dissatisfied with their purchase
were morally certain to be able to sell out at
an a,dvance. During this time men could con¬
tract for property, and sell, the contracts at a
profit, without having a proof-title of the estate.
Of course such a state of things could not last,
and ultimately there Avas a revulsion, of Avhich
the present quiet state of the market is the
The demand just now seems to be for rather
low-priced houses, and the buyers are confined
almost exclusively to would-be occupants., It
would seem from the demand that the only
part vof Eew York in which human beings can
dwell is confined within the boundary lines of
Fifth and Sixth avenues. Twenty-third street
and Central Park. Men j-ush to real estate
brokers, and while announcing that they do not
desire to pay more than ."^25,000, or less, for a
house, name a location where the lot alone
would equal, and. in the majority of instances
exceed, that-fis^ore. -This is.so marked a fea¬
ture of the present market that it has become
matter for a standing joke among brokers and
dealers. Occasionally, however, fancy prices
are realized from those gentlemen, of plethoric
purses, whose only object is to be suited.
Several iiiipoi-tant sales of down-town buildings
are said to be in course of negotiation at prices
that wUl bie a surprise to experts as well as
The features of the inarket for unimproved
real estate is in direct opposition to that of im¬
proved property. Speculators in this branch
have nothing to fear from fire, and where they
are able to forego the use of their capital they^
are morally sure to realize a desirable profit.
The activity of the market is also due to a great
exteiit to the inactivity of improved property.
The prices realized are fully up to the expec¬
tations of the most sanguine ; and should they
increase in like ratio for the time to come, when
the property shall be designated as improved,
none but our millionaires can indulge in the
luxury of buying or selling. The upper end of
the island, comprising the Dyckman estate and
Washington Heights, includes the -most valua¬
ble propeiiiy on the market. Here the sales arfe
'very numerous, and latterly comprise the lands
situate on the extreme end of the Heights.
A new impetus has been given the inarket by
the discovery that those capitalists known to
have an "inside track" on the Rapid Transit
question, are investing freely. Plots that com-
mahdeid from $800 to $1,000 a few months ago
have now a largely increased value ; and should
the predictions of the success of the rapid-tran¬
sit scheme prove true, they wiU rival in price
those situate miles hearer Wall street. On the
other hand, hov?-ever, if the quick, transit plans
under promulgation raeet with the baulks that
have deadened former enterprises of a similar
nattife, there must be a deprecia-tion in value
of the lots now deemed so desirable.
The title to the property sold by Potter
Bros, to the Colurhbia College directory were
taken ""out this week. The price realized,
f 37o,060, for the Of acres covered by the deed.
is very indicative of ■ the fanciful values placed
oh property at this end of the island, eveh
when iDought for occupancy, and not for specu¬
lative purposes. Since the announcement of
this sale the same firm have sold nearly 300
lots in this vicinity, and the sanae can be said
of other holders. Most of the property sold
outside of the Columbia College purchase
comprised plots ffona the Dyckman estate.
TiBEE kANlTEIl OF OPENING STSEETS.
0P the many thousands of property-owners
who p.ay taxes for the cost of street openings,
there are comparatively few who reaUj' under¬
stand the modm operandi, as carried but in this
city. The subject is the more interesting from
the recent exposures of the frauds that have
been permitted in this branch of city govern¬
ment by the Tammany Ring dictators, -who
have now, with one exception, retired to the
shades of private life. Indeed one or two of
these personages have withdravra to a privacy
that it would much please the investigators of
their ofScial corruption and nefarious practices
The law under which, our street openings aire
now carried out is by no means of so recent
date as is generally supposad. The Act was
passed by the State Legislature as far back as
April, 1807. This Act has receiveid innumera¬
ble additions and amendments by the more re¬
cent Legislative bodies, and is naade subservient
to the General Act of Revision passed in 1813,
which is now in force, and aU street openings
are conducted in conformity with its pro-vision's.
The supplementary and amendatory Acts of
later years have mainly been in regard to titles.
By this Act the control of this work is invest¬
ed entirely with the Department of Parks. An
application is made to the Courts by this De¬
partment for the appointment of three Com¬
missioners. The request is made by a petition
setting forth the general nature of the improve¬
ment. The next step is the appointment of
the Commissioners by the Court. The Com¬
missioners meet and organize by the selectibii
of a chairman and clerk. Their first duty is to
select a surveyor to ascertain the names of the
owners of the propei-ty covered by the proposed
improvement iii order to determine the area Of
the assessment, and decide whether or not any
a-nd what part Of the cost shall be charged tb
the city at large. Notice is then given to the
land-owners to produce their deeds and prove
their titles tb the property. The Cbmmissibn-
ers must then hold public sessions and givh
everybody who desires a hearing on the ques¬
tions of law or indi-vidual rights that may arise.
After they have done this they must decide the
pbints of difference raised, and make up their
report, which is to fix thb amount of awards to
each property-o-wner, in order that the distri¬
bution in'ay be determined upon. This report is
filed, and advertised, and notice given that any
objections to the report vrill be heard. The
period for this hearing is ten days. After the
objections have been heard by the Commission¬
ers their report is re-vised and presented to the
Court for confirmation. Here, all parties who
are dissatisfied at the decisions of the Commis-
sibners have an opportunity Of presenting their
objections, and the question^ of law are finally
settled, if the decision is against the Commis¬
sioners, the report goes back to them for cor¬
rection. When at last the report is cbnfirmed
by thb Court, the work is advertised and the
contracts giveix to the Ibwest bidder.