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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 43, no. 1110: June 22, 1889

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June'22, 1889 Record and Guide. 873 city has been hampered by the inadequacy of the accommodations at the central offlce. Much more room is needed than there is, especially on Mail street. It cannot be long before some steps will have to bo taken fco increase tbe accommodations, aud a proposition to add to the northei-n end of the Post-offlce building is sure fco be made. No further encroachments upon the Cifcy Hall Park should be permifcted under any circumstances. The suggestion has been made that the government should buy the block of old buildings bounded by Park row, Ann sti-eet, Beek¬ man street and Theati-e aUey, aud construct a new budding tbere, connecfced with the Post-offlce by an underground passage, as the two Post-office build¬ ings are in London. This suggestion should be acted upou at once, foi- it cannot be long befoi-e the old buiidings on Park row are replaced by finer struotm-es. With the government building on Park row it would be a street of very imposing edifices, 4** The sky-scraping "Osborne" flat on the northwest corner of 7th avenue and 57th street is to be made stiU higher by the addition of fom" stories on tbe front and one story on the i-ear. The cost of alterations ai-e estimated at $20,000. A Eemarkable Loan. From time to time some extraordinary transactions are disclosed by a seai-ch of tbe official conveyances which appear in The Rboobd and GumE. Evideucej are not infrequently discovered of false considerations having beeu given in deeds transferring property. A scrutiny of the ofBcial mortgage deeds published in this paper also shows that in some cases loans are made by or ou behalf of institutions and iudividuala which are dangerously risky and whicb leave the impression that the morbgagee would fare badly should (oreclo.=!ure proceedings ever become uecessary through bbe moi-tgagor's defaulb in paying off the loan, if demanded when the time of expiry arrived. A mortgage appeared in a recent issue of The Record and Guide show¬ ing that a piece of property on the northeast corner of Washington and Cortlandt streets was mortgaged to tbe Poughkeepsie Savings Bank by oue Samuel Trimble, of Brooklyn, for $182,500, at 4J^ per cent, intei'est for five years. The property is described as being 67.1xR6.5x66.11x6I.3 in size, and the mortgage is dated May 17,1889, The ground covered is thei-efore 4,377|^ squaj-e feeb, which is equal to a Uttle 076r 19-13tbs of a city lot. On this there is a five-story bmlding recently altered from three five-story stoi-esaud a flve-story factory which stood on the site about a yeai-ago into one buUdiug. Let us see how much this property cost the owner. In The Recoed and Guide of Apiil 14,1888, the followiug transfers appear: Cortlandt st, Nos. 74 and 76, n e cor Washington st, 40.9x66,6x45.3 x(i7.1, two five-story brick stores, and 171 Washington st, five- story brick sfcoi-e. Wm. E. Verplanck exr. Wm, S. Verplanck to James Adair, Brooklyu, N. Y. Mar. 26,1S88, Deed. nom Same property, Jas, Adair to Samuel Trimble, AprU 9, 1S88. Deed. $90,000 In The Record and Guide of March 31,1888, the following transfer appeai-s:' Cortlandt st. No. 73, n b, 40,9 e Washiugton st, 20.6x66x21.3x66,6, flve- story brick factory, E, Ellery Auderson to James Adair, Brook¬ lyn, N, Y, Mort, $9,000, Mar. 22, 1888. Deed. nom Same property. Jas. Adair to Samuel Trimble. Mar. 23, 1888. Deed, $35,000 It therefore appears tbat tbe flrst cost of the property, from the con¬ siderations given in the deeds, was $12S,000, It should be added that Mr, Trimble is said to be a representative of John Pettit, who is understood to be the reai owner. But the buUdings underwent considerable alterations. In The Record AND Guide of November 3, 1888, the followiug item appeai-s under the applications made to the BuUding Departmeut uuder the head of " Altera¬ tions ;" Cortlandt st, n e cor Washiugton sb,walls altered; cosb, $8,000; S. Trimble, Brooklyn; ar't, J. M. Famsworbh. As a mabter of face, however, considerably more than 88,000 was spent on the alterations. Architect Farnswortb was caUed on at his offices in Temple Court, and;he said: " The alterations made by Mr. Pettit were carried out under his owu supervision, but tbe flgure in tbe application is misleading. I think, however, that $25,000 would cover what was spent. It would be au outside figure." Mr. Pettit was caUed upon by a representative of The Recobd and Guide, and his attention was called to the plan filed in the official depart, ment for alterations to cost $8,000. It was difficult to extract from him a statement as to the approximate cosfc. " Would $50,000 be too high?" " It would uot," was his reply. Subsequently, however, the object of tbe inquiry was disclosed to bim, and he said: " 1 wUl be glad to give you the contract to do the work for $100,000." The discrepancy between the estimate of the architect and the reputed owner is very forcible, not to speak of the official application for only $8,000. When alberabion plans are filed at the BuUding Department it often occurs that the estimates are exceeded. But it is doubtful if they ever were exceeded by eleven and a^ half times their estimated figure. Of course the architect was innocent as to the object of the query. But let us presume that the alteratious cost double his estimate, that is $S0,00O, the entire cost of the property to the owner, alterations included, was $175,000, And yet tbe Poughkeepsie Savings Bank loaned $182,500 on it for flve years at Ay per cent. In granting an application for this and every loan on real estate the trustees and other members of the bond aud raortgage committee of every savings institution must sigu a declaration to tbe foUowing effect, in con¬ formity with the law: " The undersigned members of the bond and mortgage committeeof said institution do, after investigation, certify tbat tbe value of the above premises proposed to be mortgaged to said institution ai-e, according to our best judgment, worth at least twice the amount of the sum proposed to be loaned on the property." That is to say, that iu the loan under consideration the offlcei-s of tbe bank, wbo are responsible lor the payment of their depositors' money, cer¬ tified by their signatures that the property is worth $385,000, which is " at least twice " the amouut of the sum loaned. And yet, on the face of it, the property cost less than §182,500, the amount of the loan itself, WiU the bauk officials explain the seeming discrepancy? But this is uot aU. The Record and Gdide had been informed tbat tbe considei'ations given in the deeds transferring the propei'ties were false. Not wishing to do an injustice, aud ina spirit of honest inquii-y, efforts were made to ascertain the facts. It was found that the parcel transferred at «P0,000 to Mr, Trimble on April 0, 1888, had beeu transferred by Wm, E, Verplanck on March S6, 1888, thu-teen days earUer, at $60,000, Mr. Ver¬ planck having flled a certificate early iu May to tbe effect that the actual consideration was $60,000. Wm. G. Verplanck, a relative of Wm, E. Verplanck, is one of the firm of Cui'tis & Verplanck, of No. 36 WaU street, who are the attorneys for tbe Poughkeepsie Savings Bank, Wm. E. Verplanck was called upou, but it was found tbat be ie in Europe. But we bave not yet done. Tbe property which was transferred to Mi-. Trimble at $35,000 on March a3d, 1SS8, was on the very day previous soid by E. EUery Anderson at $22,000. This statement is made on undoubted authority. It thus appears tbat the two parcels whicb were conveyed at an aggre¬ gate of $1S5,000 actually cost $83,000, or $43,000 less. If $50,000 was spent In alterations tbe total cost would be $132,000, and if $100,000 had beeu spent, which no expert would say of a building covering a space of less than 66 feet square, tbe total could not have been over $182,000. Au appUcation was mode for $170,000 ou the property from the Wash¬ ington Life Insurance Compauy. W. A, Brewer, the president, said they would uot consider such a high loan ou the property, even at 5 per cent. A director of tbe Mutual Life Insurance Company said that it was diffi¬ cult for institutions to be conservative when such loans were made. At tbe Eui'eau of Assessments it was ascertained that Nos, 73, 74 and 70 Oortlandb and No. 171 Wasbingt^au street were assessed at $45,000. Tbis, however, is ou the fom- five-story buildings befoi-e bbe alberations were made. The assessmeut for 1890 wiU be much higher. Tbere is only one argument that can be used to overcome criticisms made upon tbis loau. It may be said that the property was bought at a very low figure and that tbe actual value, especially with the alteratious made, is far higher than the cost. Tbere ia but one reply to this, and that is, that there is only a little over one and three-quarters of a lot of ground, with a flve-story structure on it. Where are you going to get a valuation of $385,000 out of that ? The Record and Guide makes no accusations. It merely points out the facts. These transactions are injuring real estate. Of course Mr. Trimble and Mr. Pefcbit arc perfectly warranted in getting as high a mortgage as possible. But who-.s responsible for the Poughkeepsie Savings Bank mak¬ ing such a loan on the property, and sucb a valuation to boob ? In the interest of the depositors of that bank, and iu the cause of honesty, this extraordinary loan requhes explanation on the part of tho bank officials. ---------•-------- About Those School Sites, A serious hitcb has occurred in the working of the law passed a year ago to enable tbe Board of Education to obtain sites for schooLs more speedUy than before, by condemnation proceedings. The Commissioners appointed from time to time during the past sis moutbs by the Supreme Court to appraise the property needed have, it appears, made awards iu thu-teen cases, aud the Sites Committee of tbe Board of Education declare that they ai-e aU, with the exception of two parcels, much too higb, being greatly in excess of tbe estimates made by the committee itself. The provisious of the new law are that wherever the schoo! accommodation is deficient, the school trustees of the ward are empowered to make application to the Supreme Com-t for the appointment of three Commissioners of Estimate, whose duty it is to hear claims aud make awai-ds, these awai-ds to be subject tothe approval of tbe Eoai-d of Education before confirmation by the Supreme Court. The location of tbe plots, together with the awai-ds and the estimates, are given below: Sites, Ward. *Estinjate8. tAwai-ds. 4—Mulberry st, n e eor Bavard st, IS4.I0sI00.4___ 6 $73,600 $153,000 B—Delancey st, n wcor Ludlow st, 96x88.3........ 10 113,000 84,000 C—Norfolk st, w 6, 7S,7 n Hester st, 35x75 ......... 10 12,000 17,000 D—Hester st, b e cor Chrystie st, I00,4sl03.2x irreg...................................... 10 81,000 107,500 JE:—4tbst, ns, 174.6 w 1st av, r5,fixOe.OV6........... 17 40,000 76,130 ii"—SStia st, S8, IHO.l wadav, 24.11x73.3..........i „. ,--no oo^nn 0—36th st, s s, 333 w ad av, ■2l.2s.m.l0...........f '''■ ^^'^"^ -*'■■'''" jEf—.Olstst, nwcor 1st av, lOOxd,^),6 ................ 3S 61,000 43,000 J—Oetli st, iiw cor 10th av, 125x100,5.............. 32 58,500 70,000 J—76thst, ns, B05e3dav, 35x!03.a................ 19 2:,000 32,000 Jf—93d at, u w cor 10th av, 170.1x120.6 ............ 13 03,000 79,000 J^I57tli Et, s 3, 100 e Courtlandt av, B0sI97.11?i, and Courtlandt av, e s, 180.7 s I57th st, ai.Sli 100,3........................................ 33 10,000 13,251 J/—Johnsou av, w s, adj property of Charles Gil¬ christ, irOxI&DxlBSxIOO..................:. 34 ft.OOO 3,900 JV—41st st, bet 7th and Sth avs, 20x100............ 23 13,500 27,000 (-4.)—Thera is nearly $80,000 difference between the School Commis- siouers' figures and those of fche Committee of Estimate. The plot includes five lots witb two, tbi'ee and four-story brick and fi'ame tenements, also stabiee and a coal yard, Lorenz ZeUer, Edward McCue and N. R. O'Connor composed fche Commission whicb estimated the value of tbis plot and experts say tbe award is a ."ery extravagant one. It is also said tbat $73,500, the value of tbe School Commissioners, is entii-ely too low, and that $120,000 is about what tbe plot is worth. ♦ These estimates were made by the Board of Education before the appomtment of the different sets of Commissioners by the Siipreme Coui't, and were sent to Tax Coramissiouer Colemau for and received his revision. t The awards were made by the Commissioners appoiuted bj- the Supreme Court, and we arc rollably informed that in most cases the amouuts allowed are much in excess of the valuation placed upon tho properties in question by the experts in the employment and pay of the city whom tbe Commissioners called to their assistance.