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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 12, no. 295: November 8, 1873

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Real Estate Record AND BUILDERS' GUIDE. Vol. XII. NEW YOEK, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 1873. No. 295 Published Weekly by m REAL ESTATE RECORD ASSOCIATION. TERMS. One year, in advance...........$8 00 All communications should be addressed to Whiting Bdilding, .%5 and 347 Broadwat, The very best proof tliat city real estate is in very strong hands is ahuost daily given at the Exchange, where in most instances the auctioneers are ordered to -withdraAv the par¬ cels from sale rather than accept the prices of those who now are looking tor panic bargains in good city property. And though we do not desire to convey the impression that real estate is not affected by the general collapse of things all about, nevertheless the very fact that owners do not submit to sacrifices shows Avell for the increased wealth of New York. Of course, here and there, we hear of private transactions at low figures on the part of indi¬ viduals, but they are all men who have been caught in the financial gale and were com¬ pelled to sell their real estate in order to meet other liabilities. As a rule, very little real property has changed hands since the begin¬ ning of the panic, and tliough we do not an¬ ticipate a wild speculation during the coming six months, there nevertheless exists no reason why good city property should be sacrificed during the coming Avinter. Everybody admits that with the recurrence of spring—especial¬ ly if Congress should agree upon some wise financial measure—the country will once more be prosperous, and no city in the Union will feel the effects of it sooner than our own city of Ncav York. With a continuance of that spirit of compromise and mutual concession, now fortunately prevalent in our mercantile community, there is no doubt but the troubles of the Avinter will be safely passed over, and very few will be compelled to throw property on the market while there is a dispositton on the part of many to take advantage of the present state of affairs to depress prices most unreasonably. EAPID TEANSIT. With the exception of the Greenwich Street elevated road, we are no nearer the solution of the rapid transit problem than we were years ago. The road mentioned does not, and can not, if extended, fully meet the requirements of our population. What we want—and must have—is a road that will not take our people out from us, but one that will help fill up our waste places, and bring property removed from the centers of trade into immediate con¬ nection with those centers. It is patent, be¬ yond doubt, that Mr. Vaaderbilt is faithless to some of the promises upon which he secured material aid from the city. With him, rapid transit exists only beyond Forty-second Street, and public opinion has so far affected him as only to aid in furthering his project of increas¬ ing the carrying capacity of the railroads under his control. It has recently been aptly asked by what authority he has taken possession of streets belonging to the public? or what return he has made to the city treasury for property to which he has acquired no legal title ? To this source we may look in vain for rapid communication between the City Hall and Forty-second Street. The Gilbert Elevated Road has also secured privileges which devel¬ op no signs of fruition. The officers of this corporation have caused publicity to be given of their ability and intention to prosecute their works at an early day. There is no proof that they can or will do so. Indeed, we know that obstacles intervene, and that if thiscoiporation, if provided with the necessary means and ap¬ pliances, undertakes the construction of a road upon the plans it has adopted, legal proceed¬ ings will be taken which will prevent its com¬ pletion. The Arcade and Central Under¬ ground roads, with the Viaduct, are past hope, and the Pneumatic Road, possessing the only franchise of real worth, languishes for want of means to push it to completion. The greatest difficulty in securing rapid transit lies in the conllicting views of the peo¬ ple most interested in its success. There is no unanimity, and public opinion is as yet crude and unformed upon the subject. The various projects, warring upon each other, find adher¬ ents, and our own capitalists, hesitating be¬ tween them, do not act in a way calculated to gain the confidence of foreign investors. Abundant help, at home and abroad, can doubtless be secured when public sentiment crystallizes, as it were, upon a plan which will justify a belief in facility of construction, econ¬ omy of expenditure, carrying capacity, and general public convenience. Elevated roads seem unsuited to our main lines of travel and principal avenues. Yet the central line of the city must be followed to make an impartial distribution of the benefits to result from a rapid transit road. Underground roads meet with objection; principally on the score of cost and detriment to health, yet the Fourth Avenue tunnels combat, to a great extent, these objections. If real estate owners, whose chief interest lies in the appreciated values of property, look at this question fairly, they can not but agree that union of purpose is neces¬ sary. The people for whose special conven¬ ience in traveling to and from their homes rapid transit is important, must yield opinions and see how nearly they can converge to a united sentiment. It is full time that silly squabbling over what is best should cease. Let there be less talk and more thought, and, above all, let those who represent the financial interests, not of the municipality, but of the citizens, come to conclusions upon a single basis, and through them, and with them, we shall secure that aid which seems necessary for the successful prosecution of an enteiprise so important and so necessary. MANUFACTXTRES JTEAE NEW YOEK. Great cities furnish the greatest local mar¬ ket for manufactured as well as other products, and furnish the most convenient point of dis¬ tribution for the largest number of consume!-* wherever located. Hence, we see the vicinity of great cities occupied, by preference of their proprietors, by manufacturing establishments. They are not uniformly by any means desired by the general inhabitants, and this fact, in connection with the high price of land in the neighborhood of great cities, becomes a powerful consideration in fixing their location. Notwithstanding all this, we find numerous manufactories located in New York itself. They occupy space veiy much- wanted for other purposes. They oc¬ cupy space which, if they were removed, would immediately increase in market value for other purposes. They occupy space which, very frequently, a due regard being had lor the public health, comfort, and general good, they should not be allowed to occupy. Consideiing all this, it is striking lo remark that there are districts very near the city almost as convenient for the location of man¬ ufactories as the city itself, where the necessary supplies and material and labor and land could be obtained more cheaply, and yet they lie comparatively vacant and unproductive. Take the district extending along both sides of Staten Island Sound,from Elizabeth to Amboy, as an example. In what feature to facilitate profitable manufactures is this district lacking ? It is most conveniently accessible by land and water for transportation of coal and iron, for receiving supplies of labor from abroad, and for reaching New York and every other mar¬ ket. Here there is abundant room for every desirable convenience and accommodation. With very little expense or labor every part of a manufactoiy can be made accessible for Ijoats to load or unload. Here, comparative isolation from a thick crowding population can, for j many years, be relied on. I It appears that an English company has I purchased two or three farms at Chelsea, on j the Staten Island side of the Sound, about three miles below Elizabeth, and are now I erecting docks and buildings, and are arrang- I ing to go lai]gely into the manufacture of ft