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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 67, no. 1717: February 9, 1901

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February 9/1901, RECOKD AlVD GUTDE. 225 ESTABUSHED^tfAB^CHfitti^iaSS. Dev&teDto flE^L Estate.BuiLDif^o ]\RafiTECTURE,KousEKoiDDEacff;Aiioit Busih/Ess AftoThemes OF GEjteRil tNTE^Esi. PRICE PER TEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS. Published every Saturday. TELEPHONE, COKTLANDT I37O. Communications should be addressed to C. W, SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street. /. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager. "Enlrrcd al (he Post-Otllce al New Tork. N. 7., as acconil-class matter." Vol. LXVII. FEBRUARY 9, 1901. No. 1717. LEAVING the movement of prices on the Stock Market to explain itself, it may be asked how it comes that people think, as they apparently do, that consolidation of itself means increased business and profit? Doubtless, consolidation leads to more economical management and a better hold on prices and rates, but it must not be forgotten that the consolidations of the little railroad systems into big ones which was made fifteen or twenty years ago, was later followed by bankruptcy in a good many instances as a result of declining business and reckless management. To have success follow consolidation It requires that general business remain good and the management be both competent and devoted. It cannot he said that these are guaran¬ teed in every case, which makes it necessary for the buyer to act with great discrimination. On the whole the aggregative movement is undoubtedly a good one, and in the end makes for better values. As has already been proved by the railroads, the influence of the banker in the management of great undertak¬ ings, is a steadying force that promotes conservatism in opera¬ tion and reduces very materially the ability of the selfish, reck¬ less manager to play ducks and drakes with the property in his charge for his own pecuniary benefit. If the great banking in¬ terests take up the steel and iron plants to bring order into their affairs, as they appear to intend to do, it would give to the securities issued on those industries just that tone and staying quality, the lack of which has hitherto made the public shy of them, and would therefore be a decided advantage in promoting and preserving values in the future. While all this has general application to prices, it is well to hear in mind that the largest part of the advance that has been made recently is due to spec¬ ulative operations, and that when reactions come there are likely to come with the force of a nor'wester. ~jp* HB bill presented to the upper chamber of the Legislature * by Senator Hennessey, to reduce the rate of interest on overdue assessments from seven to five per cnt. is a proper and reasonable measure. The rate when originally fixed was the one ordinarily paid on money, but since interest rates have fallen it has been retained as a penalty for backward payment. There is no occasion for the infliction of punishment seeing that the city is protected by a prior lien on the property assessed and a remunerative rate of interest on money remaining unpaid, much above what the city itself pays on loans, ought to be sufficient compensation for the delay. TAKEN as an expression of the views and intentions of the party in power at Albany, on the subject of taxation, Governor Odell's remarks before the Clothiers' Association out¬ line the form legislation thereon will take and are an answer to all who oppose the administration's tax programme as laid down in the six bills taxing various forms of corporate capital now under consideration. It does not follow from this that those bills will not be amended to meet to some extent the views of the In¬ fluential deputations that have stormed Albany this week to oppose the tax measures, but it does follow that a definite pol¬ icy of tax reform has been laid down by the administration in¬ dependent of the suggestions made by outside interests. The Governor said: "It is the aim of the present administration at Albany to correct the abuses and extravagances which have grown up there, and for which both political parties are equally to blame. We must get down to business principles, and it is not only by the curtailment of expenses, but by increasing our revenues, that we will succeed. Equable taxation is one of the best ways to increase our revenues, and such taxation is at the same time one of the greatest problems which confront us. The burden of taxation has been borne so long mainly by real estate that we have about reached the limit in this direction, and are now obliged to look for other sources. No one interest should he burdened tmduly, but every prosperous man in the state, will be called upon to pay his just share of the taxes." This reveals a policy of extending the tax-system to bring in all forms of property, in preference to consolidating it, as, for instance, is the purpose of the Chamber of Commerce bill, upon one or a few forms; and if the latter, as its advocates claim, is more scientific, the former is more practical and easier of application, which will give it a strong recommendation in the ofacial mind. Last Year's BuKding Plans. Tt will occasion no surprise that the statistics given in the table below, which is compiled from reports of the Depart¬ ment of Buildings, record a huge falling off in the amount of construction work entered at the Department last year, com¬ pared with the year immediately preceding. It is not, however, to call attention to this fact that the figures are given, but in or¬ der that its significance may be shown through an examination of their details. A decline of more than 40% in the number of buildings and of over 50% in total estimated cost in one year is of itself remarkable and worthy of notice. This was the case last year, for we see that as against 10.979 buildings, costing 5156,843,321 in 1899, there were in 1900 only 6,278 buildings, cost¬ ing $78,291,544, or a difference of 4,701 in buildings and $78,537,- 777 in money. This comparison brings out in rather a startling way the decline in structural activity that followed the boom of the year before last. When the totals for the several boroughs are examined it is found that the greatest proportionate, as well as aggregate loss, was made in Manhattan, where, in buildings, it was 2,902, and of expenditures for the same $71,127,113, A falling off appears in seventeen out of the eighteen classes into which the Department divides the plans filed, proving further that the decline was not only great but also general. The fig¬ ures for the two years are: PLANS AND SPECIFICATIONS FOR NEW BUILDINGS ACTED UPON DURING THE YEARS 1S99 AND lOOO. ,----------1S99.----------, r----------1900.----------, r-----No.-----1 f-----No.-----, Classification. Build- Estimated Build- Estimated Dwellings; Plans, ings. ccst. Plans, ing?. cost Est, at over $50,000... 25 40 S2,010.J)00 25 34 $3 2(17,000 Bet, *2(J,000 Se .*r>(l,ODO ol 144 3,714.000 23 53 1 :il2 000 Less than .$20,000----- 323 1,222 8,202.307 280 Sm 4 i)ta UO Flats: Est.; over $13,000.1,113 2,149 72,673,000 3G1 tiG4 29,337,000 Tenemenis: Less than $l.i.000..... 400 962 8,0fiS,419 2fi2 538 n.0R4,8O2 Hotels: boardii:g-hiuses. 35 35 2,Sn5,?00 31 31 2,421937 Strres: Over $o0,00l).., . 81 83 15,OrjL>.000 41 42 5,228,000 Bet, $15,000 Sc $30,000 10 19 422,000 21 25 414,300 Less than $15,000..... 100 115 45:^,095 86 103 407,794 O^ice buildings ........ 47 47 10,7.99,865 46 46 2,fi66,025 Manufactories; wrksbps. 234 256 5,9o5.420 . 225 245 5,57S,n44 School houses .......... 39 42 4,123.500 25 26 3,710.000 Churches ............. 21 22 463.700 37 37 l,29S,(i50 Public b'ld-gs: Municipal 13 14 1.278..n00 23 24 1,162,600 Places of amusement.. 39 40 2,990.493 53 59 1,437 214 Stables ............... ISS 201 1,220.107 102 16G 1,045,245 FraiEe dwellings .......2.3:17 3.754 10,936,914 1,6.30 2,?4S 6,8711,045 Tenements, etc.......1,352 1.S34 4,760,798 900 1,106 1,943 960 Totals .............6,414 10,979 $150,843,321 4,294 6,278 $78,291,544 Location. Manliattan and Bronx. .2,745 4,934 $129,?o0.370 1.355 2.032 $58,123,263 Brooklyn .............2.43G 4,627 23.248.839 1,892 3.019 16,449.582 Queens and Richmond.. .1,233 1,418 4,344,106 1,04T 1,227 3.668,699 Total ...........6,414 10,079 $156,843,321 4,294 6,278 $78,291,544 LOCATION BY BOROUGHS OF NEW BUILDINGS AND ALTERATIONS COMMENCED AND COMPLETED. ,----------1899.----------, ,----------1900,----------, New buildings: Commenced. Completed. Commenced. Conip'eted. Manhattan and Bronx.. 3,629 2,942 2,024 2,711 Brooklyn............. 4.638 3.404 3,300 2.-^02 Queens and Richmond. 1,418 1,080 1,224 1,339 Totals............. 9.685 7,426 6,548 6,552 Alterations: Manhattan ancl Bronx.. 2,903 2,807 2.626 2,639 Brooklyn............. 2.431 2,162 2.497 2.0-10 Queens ind Richmond. 1,689 1,603 1,263 1,004 Totals............. 7,023 6,572 6,386 5.683 IN PROGRESS DEC. 31, 1899 AND 1900. ,-----Buildings.—^ ,—Alterations.—, 1889, 1900, 1S99, 1900. ■Vlanhattan and Bronx..... 2.601 1,748 4G3 421 Brooklyn................ 3,207 4,005 598 1,055 Queens and Richmond----- 727 612 243 502 Totals............. 0,ii35 6,365 1,304 1.978 The greatest loss appears in what may he classed as domestic building; that is, in dwellings, apartments, flats and tenements. It was not expected that the enormous movement in domestic building of the first year named would be duplicated last year, because the supply reached the point of extreme congestion un¬ der the stimula of rapidly rising prices for materials and the im¬ minence of operation of the new building code with its increased requirements and restrictions. In the higher-priced flats, all 2,149 to 6G4, or 1,485 in number, and in total cost from 572.673,- those costing more than $15,000 each, there was a decline of from