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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 63, no. 1620: April 1, 1899

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April.!, 1^99- ^ Recorct; and, fiu^de w DnM) TO R^ Estate.BmiDirfe A^n^ciun? >(ousn(cu>DEO(^^nHl PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIK DOLLARS Fublighed every Saturday Telephone Cortlandt 13T0. 'Qommunlcatloni should be addreaaed to C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Veiey Street j!, i. LINDSEY, Business Manager. "Entered at the Post-Oiiet at Nevi Yorlt, N, Y., ae second-class mailer." Vol. LXIII. APRIL 1, 1899. No. 1,620. WHAT was said of the stock market.and the general busi¬ ness situation in these colurana last week ^Ul applies. "The first is sustained by a speculative confidence in the Indus¬ trial and Transit shares. While it is true that the market is very largely speculative, as the concentration of dealing in a few issues shows, the position of the leaders in the buying is Tery much aided by the diaincHnation of holders generally to -part with stock. Issues that make or promise a fair return on the investment, though side-tracked for the moment, owing to the rush toward securities that offer chances for immediate large ■ profits, keep very strong, some of them surprisingly so, consider¬ ing their newness and the absence of guarantee that they will continue for any lengthy period to make the returns they are doing now, where returns are made, cr of redeeming tkeir prom¬ ises where they are favored because of prospective profits, Aa the season advances rates for money do not keep as low or as steady as they have done all winter. Occasionally flurries in money give setbacks to the market and encourage short sales, but in view of the enormous resources with which tbe country began the year and which are still to a great extent in sight, it is very unlikely that tight money will come to assist any bear party tbat may exist. When the market does break it will be because the buying movement has been overdone speculatively, ae it is already overdone in other respects, and not for any other reason. MONEY remains the most important factor Jn the financial world outside of the United States; even in Australia we ■note that revived enterprise has made such demands on loanable funds that tbe low rates prevailing since 1893 can no longer be obtained. Business continues everywhere active, as an illustra¬ tion of which a recent report on the condition of British ship- huilding can he accepted. This report states that the yards are engaged a year ahead and owners are contemplating enlargements to meet an expected growth in demand for iron and steel ships. The prospect of the middle link of the Cape to Cairo railroad being in German control is not received very pleasantly in Britain, where the line was expected to be an entirely British •connection between the two points. The first statement on Indian currency reform comes from the new Viceroy, and, while "his words are intended to prepare the Indian commercial com¬ munities for a great change, they, at the same time, by promis¬ ing the maintenance of the 32 cent rupee, discredit the idea that the country will go on a gold basis pure and simple. The report of the Commission, when it appears, judging from "Vis- ■count Curzon's remarks, will be something of a compromise. No more important contribution to the peace discussion has been made than the admission of the French Minister of War that France had reached the limit of possible conscription on the manhood of the country and could no longer meet Germany's numerical increases in her fighting forces. Another point that has been made in the same direction is found in Russia's conces¬ sions to Great Britain in China, they being really the two nations trom which danger to peace is most to be feared, A very inter¬ esting Parliamentary return of the water, gas, tramway, electric lighting, and' other reproductive undertakings carried on by municipal boroughs in England has heen issued. The total capi¬ tal invested in such undertakings amounted at the end of March, 1898, to £88,152,600, of which £83,379,300 had heen borrowed. Of this borrowed money, however, about £11,250,000 had been paid off at the date of tbe return, leaving £71,883,200 outstanding, against which there had been accumulated sinking and loan ■funds to the amount of £3,203,600, The avei-age annual income from all the undertakings in the five years ending March 31, 1898, ■was £8,898,400, the average annual net profit for the same period £3,613,700, and the average annua! amount paid in respect ot ■principal and interest on capital, borrowed £3,171,300, neater and .gas works are the two chief undertakings in which the municipal boroughs have embarkp,d, the.,P,api;ta,l inyeEted^,by,,theDj in, the ■former'amounting to £48,434,900, ania'in the'lat,ter,to fio,,lJf,^OD. Tramways figure in the investments to the amount' of' iS,213,700, electric lighting undertakings for £3,416,700, markets for £4,- 770,300, and piers, quays, etc, for £4,797,500. ■■ RAPID TRANSIT AT LAST. AT'last, and for the first time, "rapid transit" is out of the region of talk. Some one responsible; to wit, the Metropolitan Street Railway Co., has come forward and proposed, upon terms that are really intelligible and definite, to ©UIL-D the underground road planned by the Rapid Transit Commission. Whew! What a relief! Is it not like escape from a mad-house? For years we have heen condemned to live with the cranks— the fellow strong in the conviction that the "rapid transit" prob¬ lem could be solved only by the elevated roads doing the very . one thing experience had shown the elevated roads' wouldn't do; tbe crank who would run over houses, and his fellow who would carve a slice through the blocks; the real estate owner, who wanted rapid transit badly. If only it didn't touch his prop¬ erty; the owner who opposed everything unless his district got it first; the man who objected to the "bowels of tbe earth," and the person, ignorant of engineering, who was sure an under¬ ground road would shake down our tall offlce-buildings. What a phantasmagoria of babbling creatures—arguing, pro¬ posing, denouncing, year after year with tireless .energy! Some of them will yet be heard of, no doubt; but anything that tbey may say will count for little in the face of a real proposition to build a real road and provide the city with real service. But apart from the fact that the Metropolitan company art obviously ready and as obviously able to construct the under¬ ground road, there is another element in the situation whicb makes it fairly safe to prophesy that the pians of the Rapid Transit Commission will be carried out. The project has not only the financial support necessary, but It has also the political support, without which no plan for rapid transit has ever been possible. All around, apparently, there la harmony. Even the Rapid Transit Commissioners seem to have dropped some of tbe ultra views they were credited with wheii first they commenced their labors—ahout the city's paramount interests in a rapid transit road. They seem to concur with the proposition: All tbat New York can get out of rapid transit is the service. And that is very nearly the truth. Other people must be allowed to make the monetary profits. The politicians must get a "whack" at the dividends, in one way or another, and what remains must go to the men who put up the capital foi' construetion and take the risk. Tbe Record and Guide has said that a road would be huilt as soon as there was something in it for all concerned, and it never would be built until profits were visible for everybody inter¬ ested. To-day these conditions are realized. The only danger is that the public may raise an outcry to re¬ tain a greater part, large or small, of the profits of rapid transit than "service." There may be an attempt to whittle down the concessions demanded by the company, or to impose more oner¬ ous conditions. Better let the matter stand as it Is! The city needs rapid tran¬ sit more than it needs anything else. If bartering begins we will surely get back again into the mad-house with the cranks. THE i^ill known as the Astoria Gas Bill has a significance for New York realty interests that has not until now been men¬ tioned in the discussions of the bill either in Albany or in the local press. This is the apparent certainty of a very large amount of land on Manhattan Island, now occupied by gas plants, coming onto the market in the comparatively near future and being used for other purposes. We take it that the ultimate and probably early—the legal and physical difficulties of the task being taken into account—removal of the gas plants to cheaper land on Long Island or on the mainland of this State, is a certainty aad that it is therefore not too early to direct attention to the conse¬ quences to the realty affected hy the change. Consolidated Gas interests have gone so far as to purchase land and to prepare plans for supplying their patrons from Long Island, so that it can be taken for granted that as far as they are concerned the plan favors them eeomomically. They are apparently determined to go on with the work, but are trying to get the best terms they can from the Legislature. The terms we are not now discussing, expecting that the Legislature and the Municipality will take care that these are fair to tbe city. The promoters of the bill can hardly have expected to get all they asked for. There is always a possibility that the Mutual, Equitable and Standard gas interests will join the Coheolidated, or also see a pecuniary advantage in operating from cheaper land and thus broaden the conditions