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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 28, no. 694: July 2, 1881

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EAL Estate Record AND BUILDERS' GUIDE, Vol. XXVIII. NEW TOEK, SATUEDAT, JULY 2, 1881 No. €94 Published Weekly by The Real Estate Record Association TERMS: ONE YEAR, in advance - - - - - $6.00 Commtmications should be addressed to €. W. SWEET, 13T Broadway. J. T. LINDSEY, Busmess Manager. The talk about Manhattan Company bor¬ rowing money to pay dividends is nothing but twaddle. The Manhattan Company pays no dividends, never has, and if the present direction is kept in power, never will. The Manhattan Company has a lease of the New York and. Metropolitan Elevated Railway Companies, and their property, for which it pays a rental equivalent to 10 per cent on the respective capital stocks of the two companies, and after this is paid, the New York and Metropolitan companies de¬ clare their dividends. The Manhattan has as clearly a right to boiTOw money, if it can find people willing to lend it to pay these rents as any company or individual, and there is no law against it. One of the indications of the remarkable interest in real estate, is the large additions which have recently been made to the sub¬ scription list of the Real Estate Record. With very little soliciting the number of our subscribers has greatly increased witliin three months time. This, in part, was no doubt due to the reduction in the price of the paper. But quite apart from that, it is evident that thousands of people are interested in real estate doings, who formerly paid no atten¬ tion to prices or properties. Notwithstand¬ ing the few and unimportant offermgs, the Real Estate Exchange is crowded whenever there is a sale. The list of conveyances is surprisingly large for tliis time of the year and the official plans for new buildings teU their own story of the wonderful activity in the constraction of new and costly houses. Stocks may be dull, general markets inac¬ tive, but real estate transactions continue large. While there is no boom or excitement prices steadily tend upward. On Fourteenth street, juiit east of the Union Square theatre, some candy stores, stables and barber shops have been changed into stores suitable for first-class retail busi¬ ness. It is wonderful that property holders were so long in finding out the value of Union Square and Fourteenth street for re¬ tail trade. The great majority of the street cars from east and west, as well as from north and south, pass by Union Square. If the calculation could be made, we think it could be shown that there are more people passing through Fourteenth street from Sixth avenue to the Bowery, than on any other street of eqiial length in New York The crowd embraces more women than men and are nearly all of the buying class. No doubt, the time is coming when every house OU Fourteenth street between Sixth avenue and the Bowery, will be either a store or place of refreshment, for no city improve¬ ment is likely to diminish the crowds that throng on that thoroughfare. The application for a portion of the Park to accommodate the Brooklyn Bridge ap¬ proaches, is having one good result. It em¬ phasizes the necessity for a new HaU of Records. The present building is in every way inadequate for the storing of the records which are so vitally important to property holders in this city. Real estate transac¬ tions are now so large that the records are becoming voluminous, and require a large, roomy, incombustible structure in which to store them. It should not only be fireproof but mob proof. By all means let the Brooklyn Bridge people have what they want, for if it involves the removal of the Hall of Records, so mucli the better for the real estate interest. RAPID TRANSIT ON TERRA FIRMA, The approval by the Governor of the amendments to the Beach charter for an underground road, makes it possible that in addition to its elevated road system, New York may soon have underground transit from the Battery to the Forty-second street depot. The Central underground road may be considered as a '"dead cock in the pit." It has done nothing but publish extravagant programmes in the newspapers, for the last seven years. Even if it could raise the money to construct the work, it would be objectionable from every point of view. After the pleasant open air traveling on the elevated roads, our city people would not be willing to ride in a dark underground tun¬ nel. But as we understand it, the amend¬ ments to the Beach charter admit of the building of an underground street, the trav¬ eling on which will be as pleasant as in the open air. It is, in fact, the old Arcade plan revived, and if constructed, would give the city a new Broadway ixnder the pavement of the present avenue. There will be room for through as well as way trains ; baggage and freight could be transported without difficulty. It will admit of sidewalks for pedestrians, and ordinary vehicles can travel it, thus relieving the present Broadway sur¬ face of its swollen traffic. Admirable as is our system of elevated roads, it does not give us rapid transit. The time from South Ferry to the Harlem River, on the east side elevated, is forty-five min¬ utes. From Forty-second street to One Hun¬ dred and Twenty-ninch street is twenty-seven minutes. Contrast this with the sunken track of the Harlem road, from Forty-sec¬ ond street to Morrisiania, making all the stops, the time is only eighteen minutes. On the Hudson River road, from Forty-sec¬ ond street to Morris dock, just this side of Kingsbridge, the time is seventeen minutes, making all the stops on the so-called Dolly Varden trains. In other words, steam trav¬ eling on terra firma is about three times as fast as the elevated roads. What is needed for the annexed district, therefore, is some communication to the lower parts of the city on a surface underground trar-k, with a roadbed that would accommodate freight and packages as well as passengers. The proper persons to build the Arcade road below Forty-second street, would be the Vanderbilt family or some of the leading stockholders in the Central and Hudson River road. It would be an indisputable benefit to New York were this work under¬ taken, and would not interfere with the ele¬ vated roads, which would have an abun¬ dance of work to do in conveying passen¬ gers on the east and westsid^sof the city. But so long as the trains make numerous stoppages, it will not be possible to give the district north of the Harlem River the rapid transit demanded by those who wish to reside in the upper wards and to do business on the lower part of New York island. It ought to be possible for a passen¬ ger to take an underground car at the corner of Broadway and Wall street and be carried five miles beyond the Harlem River, by way of the Forty second street depot, within thirty-five minutes. When this can be done, the annexed district will fill rapidly with population at the expense of Brooklyn and New Jersey, But a tunnel is not to be thought of. A well lighted and ventilated underground street, which would make Broadway the most valuable property on earth, is what is needed. It would pay the Broadway prop¬ erty holders five times over w>re they to construct such a sub-street. But they have shown such extraordinary blindness as to their own interests in times past, that this work is not likely to be done by them. Nor is it probable that the Vanderbilt's will undertake the work, although it is clearly in their interest so' to do. We fear the Arcade scheme will not be realized right away, from the difficulty of getting the nec¬ essary capital. -------------------< o >■------------------ THE CROP QUESTION. Colonel Grosvenor, of the Public, has given a good deal of consideration to the wheat crop, and his conclusion is that it can not be much, if any, less than last year. He admits there wiU be some deficiency in the winter wheat crop of the Middle States, but the spring wheat of the northwest will more than make up for this deficiency. He shows very conclusively, that the National Miller's Association, whose prediction that the crop will be 150,000,000 bushels short, has been .widely published, made similar statements last year and the year before at this time, and that they unconsciously work in the interest of the bulls in wheat. Foreign crops, it is admitted, will be good, so wheat is destined to rule low whether we have a large or only a naoderate harvest. But, of course, this is all speculation and the size of the crop must remain an open question until the 20th of July. If there is a moderately good crop, we look for very qigh figures in the northwestern stocks, for