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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 26, no. 657: October 16, 1880

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Real Estate Record AND BUILDERS' GUIDE. YoL. XXYI. NEW YOBK, SATURDAY, OCTOBER 16, 1880. No. 657 Published Weekly by C^^ Heal €shh Herar& %ssacmtian. TERMS. ONE YEAR, in advance,...SIO.OO. Communications should be addressed to C. W. SVITEET. No. 137 Broadway We do not wish to be understood as en¬ dorsing the views of Mr. D. G. Croly, an intei'view with whom, on the i)olitical situation, will be found elsewhere. The Real Estate Record has no political ends to serve, but as politics and parties in their larger aspects affect the business relations of the country, we make no excuse for occa¬ sionally commenting uijon public affairs, or for giving the views of writers who have made the politics of the country a study. The pending Presidential election has inter¬ fered with the business interests of the nation, but after matters are settled in November we expect to see a wholesome activity in all branches of trade, and the commencement of a decidedly upward movement in real estate which is not likely to culminate, we judge, for several years to come. CHEAP MONEY AND ITS CONSE¬ QUENCES. The most extraordinary phenomenon of the market is the factthat, right in the heart of the business season, with the trade of the country enlarged beyond precedent, with new and tempting enterprises calling for new capital, that money should be quoted at 2}4 per cent. We have cheap money usually in mid-summer and mid-winter, when trade is stagnant, there are no crops to move and no new enterprises which call for the em¬ ployment of capital. But it puzzles the wisest head to account for the present ease in the money market. It cannot be the in¬ flux of gold from Europe—that we had last year, iu even greater quantities. But, then, money was very dear. It li'^as not because of the non-employment of capital; for com¬ mercial operations are very active. It is, however, true there is very little speculation; and the transactions on the Stock Exchange for the past month have been exceptionally light But, how is this to affect prices, finally ? It will create inordinate speculation, in the near future. Unnaturally cheap money, in good times, is certain to result in the blowing up of speculative bubbles. It is sure to go into stocks ; but, after they become inflated, the redundant money is used over again, in novel enterprises of all kinds ; but, finally, it affects real estate. With the political prob¬ lem solved, the future can be readily fore¬ told—fir.sti a buoyant stock market, then a general rise in prices and, finally, what is vulgarly called a "booni" in real estate. There is no realty which goes begging in or near New York, to-day. It is strongly held; and when speculative investors come along^ well located, vacant property will jump fif¬ teen, thirty, even fifty per cent. There is no cloud in the sky, so far as the volume of our currency is concerned. The amount of our greenback cun-ency is fixed by law. A rise in the rate of interest will take away from national banks all tempta¬ tion to throw up their currency. While, so long as specie payments are maintained, we have coin, or available for coinage, $550,- 000,000 of gold and silver bullion. In 18"7, there was not more than f 15 per capita of money in circulation. At present, there is probably $35 per capita ; and, so long as we draw from Europe, while retaining our own bullion, the amount of available money is constantly increasing. RAPID TRANSIT IN BROOKLYN. According to all appearances property owners in Brooklyn, especially those along Fulton street and Myrtle avenue, are about to adopt as their own the policy that con¬ trolled the Sixth avenue property holders of this city when the Elevated Road was pro¬ jected but not yet built. Whether they will be more successful in their opposition to the projected Fulton street Elevated Road than the Sixth avenue property owners have been, depends a great deal upon the manner in which they organize that opposition, and in this respect, as well as in others, they have the advantage of being able to avoid the errors tliat miscarried the plans of the New York owners. Not that the latter, as a mass, have to-day any valid reasons for un¬ derrating the value of their property as compai'ed with the figures of the period when rapid transit was stiU a thing of the future, but their main object was originally to keep that avenue free and clear of aU obstructions. In this they failed, signally failed, simply owing to the lack of proper organization. The horse car company relied upon the property owners for attending to the aggressive opposition work, and the OAvners in turn relied upon the influence and work of the horse car company. What was everybody's business, as usual, became nobody's business, and even when after the first legislative and judicial defeats of the sm-face company, the property owners saw the necessity for more active co-operation, only two or three of them put their hands in their pockets to defray the necessary legal expenses, not enough even to make a show in the courts. Whatever success has been obtained subsequently as to progi-ess made in regard to prosj)ective damages, is due simply to the dogged determination of oue or two Fifty-third street owners. This New York lesson should be taken to heart by our Brooklyn friends, if they mean to keep Fulton street and Myrtle avenue at all clear of an elevated road. Capital can fight cap¬ ital if ijroperly organized, but the burden should not all be placed upon the shoulders of one or two men. Not that we advise this opposition at all, for, after having a thorough exchange of views on the subject, it may be considered advantageous to owners to have an elevated road even in a tortuous thoroughfare like Fulton street. Only what¬ ever be the decision arrived at, let all property owners share in the j)reliminary discussion, and also share in the responsibihty of what¬ ever action may be taken subsequently. At the same time it is well for j)roperty owners to understand fully the points set forth by the projectors of the road. They claim that from Adams sti-eet Fulton street is generally 80 feet wide between the building lines, with a roadway 42 feet wide, sidewalks about 19 feet wide, double track horse raUi-oads in the roadway occupying 17 feet 2 inches, lea"\dng- 12 feet 4 inches between the tracks of the horse railroads and the curb lines. Myrtle avenue is generally 75 feet wide between biiilding lines, with a roadway from 34 to 39 feet wide, double track horse railroad in the roadway occuiDying 17 feet 2 inches, leaving 10 feet 9 inches to 9 feet 4 inches between the rails and the curb lines. If the road should be constructed on Fulton street and Myrtle avenue according to the plans of the Commissioners, the cars would run entirely over the roadways, the southerly track would be a little southerly from the centre of the roadways, from 23 to 26 feet from the building line and from 3 to 6 feet fronr the southerly curb lines. This plan was recom¬ mended by the engineer and was found to be less objectionable than any other plan sub¬ mitted or known to the Commissioners for Hke streets, and if built will be oi)en to less objection than any superstructure that can well be erected for the purpose in Fulton street and Myrtle avenue. It must be admitted at the same time by the owners of property throughout Brooklyn that the introduction of rapid transit will give life and activity to the real estate market in that section of Long Island. New York's experience ought to prove this, and Brooklyn lots, that heretofore were un¬ marketable, wiU soon rise in the estimation of investors, no matter whether the particu¬ lar owners of Fulton street property object to the unsightly structure in the street or not. It is the increased accommodation that creates more travel, and more travel wil-