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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 10, no. 246: November 30, 1872

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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. TERMS. 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. SpJECiAL Notice. 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. EEAL^ESTATE MAEKET. 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 continuation. 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 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 novices. 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 to invade. 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.