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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 43, no. 1091: February 9, 1889

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Februai-y 9,1889 Record and Guid e. 167 ^ ^ ESTABLlSHLD'^WJtRpH^liJ^ieeB. De/oTED to R,EA,L EsTME . SuiLDIf/c AjVCKlTECTJI^E ,KobSEliOLD De(J0R^T10[J, Busii^Ess aiJd Themes op GEfJERAL I;Jt£i\es7 PRICE, PER YEAR IN ADVANCE, SIX DOLLARS. Published every Saturday. TELEPHONE, ■ . - JOHN 370, ---------------------------ft_____._________. Communications should be addressed to C.W. SWEET, 191 Broadway, 7. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager. Vol. XLIII. FEBRUARY 9, 1889. No. 1,091 In at least two cities the new year has opened propitiously in both the real estate and the building mai-kets. Itwillbe seen that the sta¬ tistics published in another column, of the conveyances, mortgages and buildings projected during the month just closed iu this city and Brooklyn are most encouraging. So great an increase in the transfers and,new buildings may fairly be taken to indicate a resumption of the activity which terminated in New York a year ago, unless it should be that the remarkably mild winter has unduly hastened operations and urged'forward a great deal of the work that otherwise would not be commenced for a month or two to come. There is evidence, however, in other quarters that real estate is only sharing the benefit of a general improvement of trade con¬ ditions. Since the first of the year there has been a very decided activity in the stock market. There has been a remarkable demand fir the better class of all railroad bonds, notwithstanding the weakness of the Granger system of railroads, which is owing largely to adverse legislation and the continual rate-wars iu which they have been engaged. The course of prices on the Stock Exchange since the publication of the predictions of Mr. Benner in these columns seems to bear out everything he said. It deserves to be remarked, however, that in the little boom which New York is now enjoying she is leading instead of following the rest of the country, which, while reporting general trade good, scarcely indi¬ cates anything that looks like a boom. There are several great deals on the tapis which may affect the stock market favorably. The express companies, it may be noticed, have come to au agreement as to a division of territory which will put a stop to tbe competition heretofore existing. This step may lead to a consolidation of the interests of the great express companies. In other words, what may be called a great express trust will perhaps be organized. This matter has been under dis¬ cussion for nearly a year past, but it is understood Mr. John Hoey, president of the Adams Express, has been reluctant to have any closer affiliations with the other organizations. Among those who favored a union were Thos. C. Platfc and Calvin S. Brice, who have been using the United States Express Co. to worry the Adams Express and Mr. Hoey into an agreement with their plans. It is claimed that a saving of over a million dollars per annum could be effected were all the express companies to be managed as one organization. This is another instance of the fact that all the business tendencies of the age favor the formation of trusts. Last spring the readers of this journal were notified of the fact that this gi'eat express company deal was under way; we also announced that the Richmond & West Point Terminal would absorb and work all the railroads in Tennessee and Georgia, so as to have an unbroken line between the Mississippi and Atlautic Ocean. Then it was further predicted that there would be some sort of a combination with the Missouri Pacific that would carry the Rich¬ mond & Terminal system to the City of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean, A good deal of this has been accomplished since we made the first announcement. The East Tennessee has been leased, the Georgia Railroad absorbed, and now comes the news of a combina¬ tion with the Missouri Pacific. As yet there has been no consoli¬ dation of interests or unification of the bonds or stocks of tliis enormous series of railroad systems—but this will come in tijue. The Riclvmond Terminal is practically the longest, if uot the most important of the transportation lines in the countiy. It is under¬ stood that the Jay Gould interest is not to be supreme in this new combination. As a matter of fact, Mr. Gould is closing up his railroad interest, and is thinking more of enhancing the values of secui'ities he has got than of taking on new speculative burdens. Those mainlj' responsible for the formation of this great trans¬ continental system are men like Gen. Samuel Thomas, John G. Moore, Calvin S. Brice, John H. Inman and their well-known associates. ■ according to city blocks or other lunited areas, does not differ es¬ sentially from the bill introduced m 1887 to effect the same pur¬ pose. It simply insures the more prompt execution of the pro¬ visions of the act, and removes the difficulties occasioned by the large number of indexing records which the former measure ne¬ cessitated. It is a pity that disputes over immaterial details have postponed for so long a reform so vital to the real estate interests of the city. Aside from any question as to the comparative de- sirabihty of the lot and block systems to bring about the needed improvement, its necessity was so urgent that sometiiing ought to have been done long before this, It is to be noted that the New Jeraey Legislature has passed an act very similar to Mr. Hamilton's bill which insures progress in the right direction. n The bill introduced recently into the Assembly by Mr. Hamilton to provide for recording and indexing conveyances and mortgages, The Times berates Assemblyman HamUton for favoring a cable system which would embrace all parts of the city ; but as the cables have to come anyway, would it not be better in the shape of a unified system than for a few of the large horse-car companies t<> be allowed to run separate systems ? The cable rapid transit scheme, which was killed by the opposition of the horse-car com¬ panies and the denunciations of papers like the Times, provided for a cable service and a system of transfer checks by which a passenger could ride from any one part of the city to any other part for five cents. The kind of surface travel we are now working into will force some local travelers to pay fifteen and even twenty cents to reach their destination within the city limits. Of coiuse, somebody makes money when these great public improvements are effected ; but then, is not the first considtration the interest of the public. It is very hard when faithful public servants are abused by respectable papers for trying to forward the interests of our local traveling public. --------•-------- The principal objections urged agji,tnst this cable scheme are that its;coutribution of 5 per cent, to the city treasury is too small, and that while it does not fm-nish rapid transit in any real sense, it pre-empts too many of the public thoroughfares to the uses of a corporation. To a certain extent these objections have force, for the total coatii- bution of the Broadway road amounts to more than 5 per cent., and it would not be good policy to grant franchises that would block the future development of rapid transit. The attitude, how¬ ever, which should be adopted towards this scheme slipWd not be a negative one. The necessity that exists for providing' every pos¬ sible improved method of transportation is too imperative—too inti¬ mately connected with the growth and prosperity of the city to admit of a policy which merely criticises and rejects all schemes that are not wholly unobjectionable. If 5 per cent, is not sufficient, let it be known what is. If it is deemed wise not to give up certain thoroughfares to a cable road, let these he known. Let us have some sort of a constructive policy instead of a policy which hithei-to has given nothing bu!, objections towards the solution of our difficulties. --------•-------- In the matter of the horse-car tie-up, iu this city and Brooklyn, organized capital has again got the best of ignorant and only partially organized labor. Years ago we pointed out that thig would generally be the result, if the employing class took a leaf out of the methods of the trades unions and work together. The press and the business public in this recent strike promptly took sides against the strikers, yet there is doubtless something to be said on their behalf. They wanted to make use of the State Board of Arbitrators, which could have settled the matter in a few hours; but the officers of the car companies would not arbitrate anrl refused to recognize the labor organizations. The men certainly had one real grievance—the law limiting the hours of their labor was gen¬ erally disregarded by the companies. This was a bad example to set, even though the limitation of the law might have borne unjustly upon the companies. ----------m---------- We have always believed in fair wages for workiogmen. If $2 or $3 per week could be added to the ^vages of ail unskilled workmen it would be an unmixed benefit to the building interests of New York city. The extra money would have been spent in higher rents for better apartments and a larger patronage of the retail stores. The extra money per week distributed among the conduc¬ tors and car-drivers would eventually find its way into the pockets of landlords, and a similar increased compensation in other employ¬ ments would add marvellously to the prosperity and growth of the city. It seems utterly impossible for the emplojang class to take tliis obvious view of the matter. Each boss realizes that he is the better off the less money he jiays out for labor; but he cannot grasp the larger truth that the higher the wages the gi^eater the demand for goods, stores and dwelling houses. A strike which fails, there¬ fore, not only wastes money, but, if it is followed by lower wages, it is a direct detriment to trade. But these tie-ups and interferences with every-day traffic should never be heard of again. Matters should be so arranged that the business community should uot suffer because of any misunder^