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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 29, no. 725: February 4, 1882

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E.A.L Estate Record AND BUILDERS' GUIDE. Vol. XXIX. NEW TOEK, SATURDAY, FEBEUARY 4,1882. No. 725 Published Weekly by The Real Estate Record Association TERMS: ONE YEAR, in advance.....$6.00 Communications should he addressed to e. W. SWEET, 137 Broadway. J. T. LINDSEY'Business Manager. The great operators in the street have met with a disappointment. Everything was ready for a bull movement, when the news came of the distm-bance on the Paris Bourse, which caused the firsr. shipment of gold of any large amount for nearly three years. In view of the probability of still further dis¬ turbances abroad, with our imports increas ing and our exports decreasing, there is every evidence that we will continue to shij) gold from this time forth. In face of adverse circumstances the market is very well sustained, but the outfide speculative public would do well to leave the stock market severely alone. This is no time for the average operator to bet his money on stocks, either on the long or short side. Investors cannot do better than put their money into real estate. People who have plenty spare capital cannot do better than purcliase down town business property, while those who have limited means would do well to pick up vacant lots on this island. There is a larger margin in these two differ¬ ent kinds of property than in any other descriiDtion of real estate. The multiplication of huge buildings, and the packing of business population in the lower part of the city and along the princi-j pal business thoroughfares, has created a demand for restaurants, v/hich is something unusual. Property holders have very gen¬ erally overlooked the necessity for eating places in tho densely populated parts of the city, and, as a consequence, down-town places of refreshment are rai-ely what they should be. The eating places are crowded, incomodious, deficient in light and ventila¬ tion, and, as a consequence, eating is per¬ formed under circumstances which are un¬ comfortable and often unwholesome. It is distasteful for a person who has a clean and roomy dining hall at home, to be forced to sit in a gas lit shop at a lunch table, where he is packed so close that he really has no elbow room. As the number of large busi¬ ness buildings is certain to increase, it would pay for some enterprising real estate owner to construct proper dining apart¬ ments. One is badly needed in the neigh¬ borhood of the Stock Exchange. The restaurants on Broad and New streets, where the brokers do their gorging (it can¬ not be called eating), are all shabby and in¬ convenient. Even Delmonico's, on the ground floor, is a constant scene of noise and confusion. The rich men of that neigh¬ borhood would very gladly pay a good price for a lunching place which was convenient, weU lighted and not overcrowded. The Mills building has been found defect¬ ive by Superintendent Esterbrook's three inspectors. They have so far disrovered that there exists a serious flaw in one of the columns that supports the building and sev¬ eral minor flaws in the basis of other columns. The building will have to be shored up. Everything wiU of course be done to make it perfectly secure by it owner. It is a noble pile and it would be a public disaster if this fine structure could not be made per¬ fectly secure. We judge the constructors were in too much of a hurry in preparing the foundation and in building upon them efore the ground settled. DOWN-TOWN VALUES. The great sales of last Tuesday developed one fact which it would be well for i-eal estate dealers to lay well to heart. Down¬ town property is in very active demand, and it is clear the shrewdest investors believethat values of business property have a very large margin of profit. Such of our readers as have kept files of The Real Estate Record, by looking back, will see that we have always held that the construction of the elevated roads would not only put a stop to any up¬ town movement, but would concentrate business down-town and immensely increase values in the more active business quarters. We have always held that two effects would follow the establishment of the elevated roads—one, a great advance in the price of XDroperty in the old business locations, and the other an equalizing of values in up-town lots. In other words, the business tendency would be centripetal and the residence tend¬ ency centrifugal. There will be no object in building stores up-town while the business localities in the lower part of the city can be reached so easily, while at the same time t^ere will be no object in paying a high j)rice for a house and lot below the Central Park when by going a couple of miles further equally eligible property can be secured at lower rates. We have repeatedly called attention to the great possibilities of business property below the park. In no other spot on earth is there such certainty of an immense busi¬ ness being done as on the lower end of the peninsula that jets out into New York bay. In every other city there is a chance of growing in every direction, but business in New York is confined on three sides to a certain quarter. Already this limited space is being filled with enormous buildings, and wherever there are old edifices being torn down, they are sure to be replaced by im¬ mense and many-storied structures. There is no inheritance one can leave his children so certain of a great increase as realty in New York below the line of Chambers street. It is there the great exchanges of the world will eventually be located. As showing the different estimates placed upon property by two institutions, The Real Estate Record of last week should be consulted. Mr. James B. Hamilton purchased, on January 17th, from the Germania Insur¬ ance Company, a house in Twenty-eighth street for $33,000, and on the same day bor¬ rowed from the Union Dime Savings Institu¬ tion $31,000 as a mortgage on the property. The purchaser must have either made a very good bargain, or the institution lending have secured a doubtful asset. THAT FIRE. The burning of the old Wo7^ld building is a notable event. The ground is so valuable that it will no doubt be immediately built upon, and a structure will take its place that will vie with the several superb buildings in its neighborhood. As there are plenty of mere offices to be supplied by the Tribune Eugene Kelly and Vanderbilt structures, it is not unlikely Mr. O. B. Potter will cater for newspaper patronage. It is the natural locale for newspaper publishing, and there are plenty of weekly papers that would pay handsomely for proper apartments. We really think the office business has been overdone down town. What is needed are suites of rooms to show samples of manu¬ factured goods, or which can be used for weekly and monthly publications and for other business and light manufacturing pur¬ poses. What a contrast is presented between the complete destruction of the TForZcZ building and the mere singing of the party wall which divided it from the Times building. What a lesson this fire ought to teach to capitalists,[architects, builders and insurance companies. To say nothing of the loss of life, it is now seen that a fiimsily con- striTCted structure is a needless waste of capital, and that if a thing is worth doing at all, it is worth doing well. The Times company are fully justified in the greater original cost of their building, in view of its proved indestructibility. And here a dis¬ tinction should be made which it would be well to bear in mind. A building may be in¬ combustible and yet not fireproof. Although made of brick, stone and iron, the Florence flat was the scene of a flre which destroyed over $13,000 worth of property. Of course the conflagration was confined to the rooms in which it originated, but nevertheless dwellers in fireproof flats were a good deal astonished on reading the accounts of this burning. This fire emphasizes also the new danger which has come|from the multiplication of immense buildings. It' is often quite easy to confine a fire to a house situated on a 25x100 feet lot; but when the edifice covers several lots, and sometimes half a block, the fire gets an immense sweep, and finds its way up lo the draft of an elevator or along the long corridors, in which there are inflam¬ mable material. As a matter of self-defence, we may be forced to prevent the erection of any large building which is at all combus¬ tible. The great height of our new down¬ town edifices makes them very dangerous in case of a fire, owing to the impossibility of any stream of water reaching the upper