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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 21, no. 513: January 12, 1878

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Real Estate Record AND BUILDERS' GUIDE. Vol. XXI. NEW YORK, SATUiiDAY, JA>^UARY 12, 1878. No. oia. Published Weekly by TERMS. ONE YEAR, in advance....SIO.OO. Coinmunications should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, Nos. 345 AND 347 Broadwa CAPABILITIES OF THE WEST SIDE. The extension of the Elevated Road, above Fifty- ninth street, into the heart of the section distinct¬ ively termed the AA''est Side, will afford facilities of access such as this quarter of the city has never before known. Until quite recently, the main dependence of travelers through this pictur- esciue but benighted region was the old-fashioned omnibus which still plods its way on the Grand Boulevard. AVithin tw'o or three years the Eighth avenue railroad commenced running cars to One Hundred and Twenty-fifth street, .and, finally, to Macomb's Dam. TVith the estab¬ lishment of steam transit we ma}- expect that public attention will be particularly drawn to this quarter of the city, aud, in the near futsre, the most interesting subject among real estate dealers and builders will be the capabilities of the AVest Side. It is needless now to recall the unparalleled speculation which once raged in this property. The whole intensity and momentum of the last speculative era in real estate were con¬ centrated in operations hi this section. Its results have been in no dissimilar from those which have .attended every great and spirited specula¬ tion that had previously occurred in New- York real estate. It is not unlikely that hopes ma}^ be now cheri.shed of an early revival of .speculative interest in this quarter. Sales of lai-ge blocks have receiitlj- been reported, at prices which in¬ dicate either a sudden appreciation in what was lielieved to be current values, or else the transac¬ tions are put forth, as feelers, by interested par¬ ties to test the amount and degree of interest which is taken iu such real estate. Advertise¬ ments are cropping out from time to time in the dailj' jom-nals, either offeruig loi-ge parcels for sale or soliciting the proffer of parcels for purchase. These are well-known devices in the manual of real estate speculation, and may or may not be prompted in such interest. As an offset to these speculative symptoms there are constantly recurring foreclosure sales of property scattered through this region, which seem to pro¬ duce no better prices than have been obtained in similar transactions during the past four years. A prominent operator recently purchased, for one thousand dollars, a lot on Seventy-sixth street near Eighth avenue which he had sold five j'ears previously for seventy-five hundred dollars—the then purchaser having cai-ried it and discharged all liens upon it to the time of its recent voluntarj- sale by him. This is but one of the many episodes of speculation which receive fi-equent illustration, aud is alluded to here more toj^point a moral than to establish a criterion of value. Whether a fresh speculation is to spread over this lamiliar field again is a question difficult to deterniine at this early day. We naturally call to mind the com¬ mon saj-ing that birds rarely return to a region where they have heard the crack of the sports¬ man's rifle. The exceedingly low prices which are ruling in this section, represent a true and complete reac¬ tion from former high prices of inflation and specidation. That intrinsic value is above pres¬ ent levels must be cheerfully conceded; but whether the iutert-ening margin is to be reaped by builders—actual consumers of the lots;—or by mere speculators is a vital and important ques¬ tion. AA'"ith the conser^-atism which now so deeply imbues the minds of solvent builders, it will be difficult to induce them to embark in building enterprises after values have been stilted by speculation. If speculators expect to find their profit in the manipulation of this property, they will be likely to lack the co-operation or countenance of the building community, and may in consequence suffer the penalty of having to carry their land for an indefinite period. AVhereas, if the present bona fdo ownei-s are able to carrj' theii- holdings and await the appear¬ ance of acceptable master builders^with whom they may deal directh-, without the intervention of middlemen, the prospect is full of encour¬ agement that the improvement of this vast area will be begun prompth' and in earnest. The advantages possessed by this section at the present time, above what it w^as po.ssible to claim for it when the speculation iva.ecimens of the apartment system will be here projected; but, in everj'-case, we venture to as¬ sert, the first floor will be ultimately appropri¬ ated for business purposes. Ninth .\\-enue.—As the avenue on which the extension of the elevated i-oad is to be made, property holders on this line may be regarded as performing an act of vicarious sacrifice. Tlie great benefit which will accrue to property hold¬ ers generally in this region by the completion of rapid transit is likely to be enjo\-ed at the ex¬ pense of the owners on Ninth avenue. We can cherish no expectation that the improvements on this avenue, certainly as far as the elevated road extends, will be other than similar to those in lower Ninth avenue, that is, common stores and plain tenements; and, doubtless, this character will be maintained to the terminus of the avenue at One Hundred and Tenth street. Tenth a\'enue.—The common tenement has gamed such complete possession of Tenth avenue, and projection has advanced so far above Fifty- ninth street already, that we cannot imagine its career'can be checked. As the central avenue in this great district, Tenth avenue may, in its upper portion, take on a character of the fine retail business mart similar to Sixth avenue and portions of Fourth avenue. At the upper por¬ tions, in Manhattan-ville and Carmansville, it is