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March 1, 1884
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE
Published every Saturday,
191 Broadway, N. Y.
ONE f EAR, in adrance, SIX DOLLARS
Communioationa should b» addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T. LINDSET, Business Manager.
MARCH 1, 1884.
The real estate outlook is really improving. The transactiona, as
shown by the ofBiial cuuveyancea, is larger so far than last year,
while a much smaller mortgage indebtcdncsB has been created.
Tbe first fow weeks of this year showed a diminution iu the num¬
ber of plans filed for new buildingfi, but, as our columns for somp
few weeks past show, the number of new edifices projected are
greatly increasmc- The most cheering feature of all is the larger
atti^'ndance at the auction sales and the excellent prices which are
given for desirable property, Thn secret of all this is the ease iu
ths money market, the small return for government's aud for
money on call; the doubtful character of all stock investments,
which forces those who have means iato the real estate market.
We have already referred to the three bills forwarded to the State
Legislature haviag in view the cheapening and facilitating the
transfer of real estate. Thsy were prepared by the Land Transfer
Association, of which D^'ight H, Olmatead is chairman. Our
Albany correspondent sends word that they are now under consid¬
eration in the Assembly. The only one of them, however, which
is likely to pass is the one appointing three commissionera to consider
the whole matter and report to a future Legislature. All of these
commissioners, it ia proposed, shall ba lawyers. This is a mistake,
ooe lawyer is quite enough. Real estate owners now pay a griev¬
ous tax to the lawyers, whose husinees it seems to be to render
titles insecure and make the cost of conveyances heavy. One of
the commissioners should he an experienced real estate broker. It
is sincerely to be regretted that owners and dealers in real estate
cannot be induced toattend to this vital matter. They seem rather
to like being plundered by the lawjers.
The Chicago real estate dealers have taken a step in advance of
their New York brethren. They have organized a real estate asso-
ciation and make ib a point to meet every noon to tran^^act busi¬
ness with one another. They find that sales are made far more
readily than when they had to run from office tn ofiiQe to see if
they could not buy or sell parcels of property. Transactions are so
large just now in Chicago that there is almost a boom in real
eatate, and thii is attributei in a great measure to the daily meet¬
ing of all the leading brokers. Messrs. Pierce & Ware and R. W.
Hyman were the two firms who consummated the first large Irans-
aotioaat these daily gatherin.jB, and the occasioi was celebrated by
a " cigar lunch," of which all the brokers partook. These meetings
have become so popular that members of the Exchange are looking
for a very much larger hall, as they are crampB<l in their present
quarters. Why ahoulJ not the New York E."cchange have a simi¬
lar gathering every day ? Tiieir building will not be ready until
late iu the fall, but in the meantime they might occupy tempo¬
rary quarters and copy the Chicago system of exchanging lists, and
so expediting transactions in realty.
Has not the time come when a demand should be made for the,
union of Now York and Brooklyn ? The interests of the two cities
are identical. They are bnund toaiecher not only by sentimenta
ties, but by numberless ferries, and one of the finest bridges in the
world. The people who live and sleep in Brooklyn largely depend
upon the CO nraeroe of New York for their m'tans of subsistence.
In both cities there isa determination to thoroughly reform the city
■ government. The arran'.<em3nC that might bring tlie cities to¬
gether would involve a respmiible local government, far superior
to anything W3 have had in the past. Hiyor Ltw has now such
golden opinions that he might be mide the first Mayor of the
United Metropolis. Half of the Comnai>Q Council could be chosen
on a general ticket, and the rest from aingle districts. Great
^^ economies would result from the unifying of the departments of
f*,the two cities. Tha union has got to come some time or other, and
.J* ttbitious young politicians could make a name for themselves in
1 "lering the field to unite the eomponent pacts of the great metrop-
'■.- of the weatecn. world,
The New York Arcade Railway.
The bill now befori the Legislature empowering the construc¬
tion of an arcade road under Broadway ir.etead of a tunnel is of
the first iuiportaiice to ownera of property on that great th<trough.
fare, as wei! as to the entire p.mulalion of New York city. We
present our readers this week with the report of Cuef-Engineer
Wra. J. McAlpiiie, in which an exhiiustive comparison is made
between the proposed arcade road and the underground railways
of London. From this it will be seen that tiie engineering diffi¬
culties presented by the former are not by any means as great as
those encountered in the English capital. The valu-- of the arcade
road to New York cannot be over-estimated. It will )>ractically
create a second Broadway. Every building along whicli the rail¬
way will run will have a new story added to it. This will be
effected by changing the useless celiara inlo basement stores at a
small outlay to the owner, thus yielding a substantia! rental where
there is now no derivable income. The arcade will be well lighted,
while the atmosphere will be pure and the ventiUtion perfect.
Tlie company will have the power to construct sub-ways for the
accommodsLtion of sewers, steam, gas aud water pii>es, as well as
telegraph and telephone wires and pneuinatio tubes. These will
all be easily accessible, and so obviate the necessity for the streeti
being continually torn up. During the winter the arcade will be
a pleasant retreat from the inclemency of the weather, and in tho
sum'ner will afford escape from the scorciiing rays of the sun.
Ladies especially will be benefited, as they will be able to do their
shopping despite climatic adversities.
The arcade will be a four-track railway, with passenger and
freight trains, way and through, running every two minutes.
Merchants, importers aud the various business houses on Broad¬
way and the adjacent streets will be able, at th?ir very doors,
to ship and receive goods to and from all parts of the Uniled
States. The experience of the past has invariably shown that
wherever the greatest facilities for transportation exist there trade
concentrates and property increases in value, and when the arcade
road IS built such a centralization of business will follow on its
track as to make the real estate thcougli which it runs incompar¬
ably more valuable than at present. There will be no interruption
to travel during the construction of the road, as will be seen from
one of the pictures on another page showing the two iron bridges
over which passengers and traffic will pass, and under which the
work of construction will be proceeded with. The engineer's
report states that tiie street in front of an ordinary building will
be occupied by the bridges for sbout one mon'.h, Properly-hnldera
have the further assurance that the bill now at Albany provides
for a commission of three, two of whom will be civil engineers,
whose duty it shall be to see that the work is properly conducted,
and that there shall be no unnecessary interference willi or damage
done to property.
The cost of the arcade road and the revenue derivable therefrom
are no doubt questions of vital importance to the success of so great
an undertaking. But we have the e.tperienci; of London before us.
l^he citizens of that great metrop.jlis fully understand and appre¬
ciate the value of an underground railway, as they have benefited
by its use for many years past. ludead it i^ stated that prelimin¬
ary arrangements have been made wii h L >ndon capitali.sts for the
money for either the arcade or tunnel road. It would be singular
should tills New York ra hvay be constructed with fund-* furnished
on the other side of the Atlantic. This is nn Northern Piicifie. road
running through sparsely populated and uninliabited ter.itories,
but a railroad travensing the mo^t densely crowded city o.i the
American Continent, d-^stined ultimateiy to overtake in population
the great English capital itiielf.
There is but one barrier to the accomplishTnent of the more per¬
fect road, and that is a modification of the charter granted in 1881
authorizing the building of a tunnel, so as to permit of its construc¬
tion on the arcade plan. Broadway is now crowded with drays,
carts and vehicles of every description, making it impassable at
most parts of the day. Besides, rapid transit is urgently required,
so that the tens of thousandn who travel daily to aud from all parts
of Broadway and the city should he able to do so expeditiously. It
is absolutely necessary, therefore, tiiat some r 'lief should soon be
afforded by a cable, elev;tted or underground rail way. It is con¬
tended that the first would probably be too dangeruui to life and
not give sufficient speed, while the secoud is objectionable
and ruinouu. TherH is only the one road left, and it is
for the people of this city to pronounce whether thi-i shall
be a dark, stuffy tunnel, which will scarcely tupereede the
requirements of a single generation, or a handsome. light,
airy arcade, which shall increase the value of the piopeny Oii its
route, and afford transportation facilitii s for passengers ami freight
of almost unlimited capacity. The press of New York cily has over
and over again spoken favorably of this magiiticent enterprise
which will make Broadway the greatest street in the worlt, and
there can be no doubt of the verdict of the people. Should the
Legislature fail to authorize the arcade plan, there will be uothing