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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 68, no. 1761: December 14, 1901

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December 14, 1901. RECORD AND GUIDE. 813 ,.y- - ESTABUsHED^t^casi^^iesa. Dp/fcTTH TD REAtEiq■A^Z.SUlL01^'G ^RCKrTECnflff>{oUS£3lOIDDeQCH{IID1(, BusirJEss aiJd Themes Of GeiJer^. IKIEHPI. PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS Published etierff Salurdap Communlc&tioiis should be addresaed to C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street, New YopR J. T. LINDSET, Businesa Manager Telephone, Cortiandt 3157 "Entered at the Post Office at N'ew Tork. N.'Y.. as second-class mailer." Vol. LXVIII. DECEMBER 14, 1901. No. 1761 OP the very many causes given for the break in stock mar¬ ket prices there is only one worth considering, and that is that prices were too high for intrinsic merits. For the same reason it may be expected that they will go still lower, as the bubble of foolish theories of combinations and increased profits burst one by one. It does not follow from this that there may not be a sharp advance any day; such a thing may occur, but it will only be a temporary reaction, and the downward move¬ ment will reassert itself whenever the support that comes from overzeal in short selling is exhausted. The market is in a proc¬ ess of righting itself from the inflation into which it was forced by the tremendous buying movement of last spring, and this process may take a year or so to eomplete itself. Meantime, there will be intervals that will recall bullish times, but all the while prices will be seeking the level of real values, and may eventualy go below them. It would have been unlike ourselves not to have done more than we should have done because times were good, and our having put highly speculative values on everything so that nothing could stand the strain of an unfavor¬ able circumstance,—such as dear money just now—is not with¬ out precedent. The situation of the moment puts us in the same boat with Europe, though not by the same means; there money is scarce and dear because business is bad and a great many weak-kneed concerns need propping; here the same con¬ dition as to money prevails, because we are prosperous and there is a demand for funds from all sides. This suggests the neces¬ sity of an adjustment of ventures to means that must now be contemplated. T~ HE official disclosure of Pennsylvania's plans for entering * Manhattan are received with somehing more than satis¬ faction in that borough itself, aud the plea of President Cassatt for fair treatment by the city authorities will surely receive generous response. The announcement does several things be¬ sides telling us what the Pennsylvania Railroad propose to do. For Instance, as it is proposed to operate between Long Island City and Jersey City through tunnels, by electricity, it shows, if the experience of Baltimore has not already done so, that Central Depot talk about the impossibility of employing elec¬ tricity as a motive power in the Park avenue tunnel is all fudge and subterfuge. Most likely now, having this great competitor at its doors, the Central will find a way of doing what it has until now said could not be done, and that all the pressure of agitating property owners and local authorities could not in¬ duce it to do. The announcement also puts to rest whatever hopes or fears there were of a North River bridge and releases from the ban of "approved routes" a great deal of property that has suffered for a good many years from being included in one, especially. The plan filed bj the Pennsylvania with the County Clerk shows tbe main station laid out under the three blocks bounded by Seventh and Tenth avenues and Thirty-first and Thirty-third streets; the block bounded by Seventh and Eighth avenues. Thirty-second and Thirty-third streets, and the east¬ erly one hundred feet (about) of the block bounded by Eighth and Ninth avenues. Thirty-second and Thirty-third streets. In all four blocks and one hundred feet of a fifth. Communication with Long Island is to be had by three several lines running west from seventh avenue under Thirty-first, Thirty-second and Thirty-third streets to the East River; and with New Jersey by two several lines running from Tenth avenue under Thirty- first and Thirty-second streets to the Hudson River. No inter- hiediate stations are indicated on the plan. It is to be hoped that the newcomer will appreciate the fact that an entrance into Manhattan is a very valuable privilege, and UlsD that the authorities and property owners there will bear in mind that they will reap immense, direct and indirect, advan¬ tages through the presence of the^only possible competitcM- to those interests that have boasted for so many years that they owned the only railroad entrance into the center of the coun¬ try's business. The Promise of Better Things. T ET there be no mistake about it. The outlook for a period J— of sustained and heightened activity in the real estate and building market of this city is extremely promising. Gen¬ eral and local conditions are both propitious. During the past few years business throughout the country has been large and .remunerative to an extent rarely equaled in American indus¬ trial history; but, partly because of certain depressing local conditions, and partly because real estate is always the branch of business last to feel the impulse of general prosperity, the New York realty market has not felt any efEect from the good times, commensurate with the expansion along other lines. But now tbe depressing local conditions are being, to some ex¬ tent, removed. Taxes promise to be a little less burdensome next year, and if the reform administration fulfils its promise, lighter still the year following. The renting of almost all classes of property is in a better way than for years past. Rents are higher and are more easily collected. There is a general interest in real estate operations among the many shrewd capitalists, who are more than ever gathering to the city from all parts of the country. The stock market has had its boom, and is now feeling the reaction; but prices of stocks and bonds are stii! so high that real estate speculation and investment offers, in compari¬ son, many attractions. But most important of all, there is a. prevailing feeling of confidence and hope, a prevailing readiness to undertake large enterprises, a prevailing expectation of higher prices and more substantial returns, which will add the neces¬ sary spark to the whole combustible mass. The activity in real estate which is promised will be, how¬ ever, subject to conditions, and will assume forms widely dif¬ ferent from those to which we have been accustomed in the past. The present activity in real estate is undoubtedly prompt¬ ed chiefiy by the dawning consciousness of what the effect will be upon real property of the enormous growth of the consoli¬ dated city in population and trade—particularly when-the full fruits of this growth are gathered by an adequate system of inter-borough communication. The Record and Guide has fre¬ quently been inclined to doubt whether in face of the Increased taxes, which consolidation brought upon Manhattan, consolida¬ tion was not more of an evil than a benefit to the "predomi¬ nant partner" in the union, but in the light of present tenden¬ cies and prospects, such doubts are shown to be unnecessary. The promised activity in real estate is the outcome of the full realization and completion of consolidation—of the prospective union of at least four of the boroughs, not merely on paper, but by tunnels and bridges. The Subway will make the Bronx really a part of Manhattan; the three new bridges and two tunnels will do away with the Bast River be¬ tween Long Island and Manhattan, while the Pennsyl¬ vania tunnel under the North River will tighten the relations between New York and the numerous inhabitants of Hudson and Essex counties in New Jersey; and the point to be kept in mind is that these tunnels and bridges will not merely stimu¬ late the industrial progress of Manhattan by assisting the wage- earners of New York to better and cheaper homes, but they will have an enormous reactive effect upon business itself. The stores, theatres and restaurants will have more customers, and there will be a general quickening of action and purpose through¬ out the whole city. A reciprocal process at once of concentration in business and distribution of population will set in, and Man¬ hattan will be benefited by both processes. The whole econo¬ mic and domestic organization of the city will be raised to a much higher degree of convenience and efficiency. The effect of these positively stimulating forces cannot be over-estimated. The trade, industry and growth of Manhattan have been suffer¬ ing for years, and are still suffering, from insufficient space in which to spread; and when the bars are finally let down, and the impulse of expansion given full play, things will go with a rush. But just as the conditions of this activity are different, so the forms that it will take are different. Just as its range and location are determined, in large measure, by public improve¬ ments, so the advantages of it will be reaped by expert specu¬ lators and investors, who have foreseen these results, and ar¬ ranged to take advantage of them. In New York real estate money is no longer made by people who sit still and wait for the growth of the city to increase the value of their property. It is made rather by people who understand current tendencies, who know where to buy and how to improve, arid who have