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February ii, 1905
RECORD AND GUIDE
De/oieD ID F^L Estate.BuiloiKg ^^pcrfiTECTURE,Kciusi:Hou)DESCHfiol,
Basii/E3s Alio Themes Of GeWeii^I iiiTtRfST.
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FEBRUARY, 11, 1905.
The Record and Guide is now issued as two papers:
1. The Record and Guide—Manhattan and the Bronx
2. The Record and Guide—Brooklyn edition.
The former will be supplied to readers and subscribers,
at present, lor $6.00 a year, or 15 cents per copy.
The latter will be sold for $3,50 a year, or 10 cents per
copy. Those who desire both papers will be supplied for
$8.00 a year.
Any subscriber, whose paid subscription is stil! cur¬
rent, may, by dropping us a postal card stating his de¬
sire, obtain both editions without any extra charge what¬
soever during tbe life of his existing paid subscription. Of
course, at the end of the subscription, it will be open to
him to elect which edition lie needs, paying for one or the
other, or both as the circumstances may be.
After March 1st, back copies of the Record and Guide will
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Copies one week to one month old....... 25c. each.
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Subscriptions, however, may be dated baclc during current
twelve months without extra charge.
WALL STREET will not like the announcement that the
Republican leaders at Albany have decided to impose a
stock transfer tax, which is expected to yield something more
than $5,000,000 a year; and it will assuredly make a vigorous,
red we hope, a successful opposition to this measure. Just
v'hat the effect of the tax will be cannot be predicted, until the
c^etails of the proposed legislation are disclosed. But we
(io not believe for one moment that the Legislature will ever
succeed in obtaining a revenue of $5,COO,000 per annum from
the business of transferring securities in New Yorlc City, If the
terms of the Act are loose, some means of evasion will be found
without much trouble. If its terms are strict the business of
iransferring securities will be taken in large part to Boston,
Philadelphia, or, perhaps, Jersey City. Such, a tax is bound
to defeat itself, aud iu tbe end the Legislature will have to
flnd the revenue it needs in another way. When, as Mr. Lawson
Purdy points out elsewhere in this issue, there is such an ex¬
cellent way of raising the money with a positive benefit to busi¬
ness by means of a mortgage recording tax, it is outrageous that
the Legislature should refuse to adopt it.
offlciency. In the present instance there would, in case the new
Court House were built up-town, be comparatively little loss
of efficiency, because the Subway brings the City Hall within
flve minutes of 14th St., and by the time the Court House is
completed there v/ill be otber Subways which will make com-
raunicatio'n still easier. Should the commission select a site
on Union Square as seems probable, the inconvenience would
amount practically to nothing at all; and on every ground
eTxept convenience, the Union Square site would have marked
advantages. It is a part of the city which would be very much
benefited by the location in the vicinity of a handsome pub-
Ym building. Property thereabouts is still comparatively cheap,
end the large area required could be bought for a moderate sum.
Lawyers, who wished to rent offices in the vicinity of the Square
cculd do so at a small expense. The Square itself offers sev¬
eral sites, adopted to the location of a building of some archi¬
tectural pretensions. In all the respects above mentioned
Washington Square would possess advantages similar to that of
Union Square; and it would have the additional merit of being
still quieter and cheaper, Ou the other hand, it would be
iPES convenient. The Subway express station at 14th St, would
disarm much opposition to a site on Union Square, which
would be strenuously exerted against a less accessible site on
THERE seems to be a good prospect that the Legislature
will pass the bill enabling the Court House Commission
to select a location for tbe new County Court House north of
Franklin St. It is at all events, very much to be hoped that
such will be the case. In a city like this Borough of Manhat¬
tan, where every natural tendency works towards the concen¬
tration of business in a few congested centres, opportunity
fUould be taken to increase activity in the duller parts of the
c'ty, wherever this can be done without any loss of business
Business and Residence in Manhattan.
THE most conspicuous feature of the real estate market
during the past week has been the speculative activity
on the side streets between 34th and 40th Sts,, Fifth and Sixth
Aves. Ever since the Altman purchase was announced and
:t began to be realized that values on Sth Ave. were destined to
£0 still higher, speculators as well as retail business men have
been buying on these side streets, the conviction being that they
v/ould become available for business improvement sooner than
had been supposed. Rents are ijo high on the avenues itself
that only very wealthy firms ean afford so expensive a loca¬
tion. Large numbers of smaller shops appealing to the same
class of customers as the 5th' Ave. shops, will have to seek
cheaper locations in the same neighborhood. The side streets
Eiouth of 34th St, are already pretty well occupied by apartment
hotels and stores; but north of 34th St. these side streets are
E;till mainly devoted to residences; and while these residences
are by no means cheap, they will be worth more for business
purposes than they have been under past conditions. Specu¬
lators consequently ai-e buying freely and have already suc¬
ceeded in getting control of many pieces of property. Prices
have advanced sharply, and for this reason the pace will be
more moderate in the future. Nevertheless the fact that
some fifteen houses have been sold during the past week, and
that many more will be sold during the next few months will
have direct and indirect effects upon tbe real estate situation of
the utmost importance.
It means that within the next few years private residences
will he practically banished from the region south of 42nd St.,
and. perhaps even SOth St. This statement must, of course,
be qualilied to a certain extent. Just north of Washington
Square there are a number of pleasant private houses, which
F,re escaping the present rage for reconstruction. The Chelsea
district, also, seems to be safe for some years to come. Then
the streets in the neighborhood of Park and Madison Aves.,
between 35th and 40th Sts., are still beyond the reach of
the shop-keeper. The property is worth more in that vicinity
for residence than it is for business purposes, and it may be
worth stii! more if as we are informed, Mr. J. P. Morgan pro¬
poses soon to erect a "palatial" dwelling on the Madison Ave.
block front which he owns. But these little districts will merely
be oases in the wilderness of business buildings and tenements.
The other side streets on which residences still survive are
all in the direct line of business advance, and must yield to the
more profitable employment. These residences will be replaced
by six, nine or perhaps even eleven story business buildings,
which will be used south of 23rd St. to accomodate the whole¬
sale trade and north of 23rd St. to accomodate chiefly the re¬
tail trade—though it will not be long before wholesale houses
also will be occupying locations north of 23rd St The whole of
the city between 14th and 50th Sts., Tth and Fourth Aves.
will become an extraordinarily lively mixture of office buildings,
hotels, restaurants, theatres, and shops.
These direct effects are sufficiently obvious; but what is not
so obvious is the part of the city to which the people who are
to desert their residences, will turii for their new habitations.
The owners of tiiese dwellings are getting and will continue to
set good prices for their houses—more than they ever expected
them to be worth. They will have the money to buy new houses,
and a large proportion of these who sell will wish to buy again.