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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 69, no. 1774: March 15, 1902

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rarch 15, 1902, RECORD AND GlIIDE. •_ ,^... 459 Dev^ p ftfLEstate.BuiLDiffe Apcj^rrEgrungj^ouaEriomDEOtufflB!, Business juioTHEHES of GErtei^...4DS^T^ PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLAIva Pubtisfied eVerp Satardasi Conuxiunlcatloua should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Veaey Street, New YorH J, T. UHDSET, BuaiasBS Manas^r Telephono, Cortlandt 3167 'Entered at the Post Office at New Yorle, N. ¥.. as second-class matter." Vol. LXIX. MARCH 15, 1902. No. 1774 T TT 7 HILE the Stock Market retains its professional char- * V acter, its continued sti'engtti and the frequency with which sensational advances are made in what are called special¬ ties are attracting some stragglers in from the outside. The movement has not gone so far yet as to break the taith of the bear element in their own position, but it looks a little, as if persistence iu the tactics employed ou the other side may eventually do so. It is to be hoped that when those who now believe in a lower range of values surrender their views they win not find themselves caught, but it is certainly a fact that the market was never manipulated so much as it is to-day, and has been for months past. Some encouragement is found in the reports of rain in the Southwest, supervening on a long drought; in the reasonably cheapness of money and its fairly good supply, notwithstanding the demands of the interior and foreign centers; and in the apparent ease with which labor troubles, that at first threaten to become a serious menace to trade are composed. This alone shows that business is ex¬ ceptionally good, otherwise trade disputes would be left to work themselves out more. When the commercial interests interfere as they did this week in the Boston strike it is a sure sign that they are prosperous, and anxious that nothing shall interfere with their prosperity. On the other hand there are matters not so assuring. Buyers of a good many stocks at prices ruling for the past year, must be disappointed at the dividend returns, w'hieh while good and even large for post-election prices, make but a moderate return for the money invested. For instance. St. Pail! on current quotations pays less than 3iX per cent., and still less upon investments made last spring. The be-fooling ot holders of Amalgamated Copper in the matter of dividends ought to be a warning to them, that in dealing in such stock they are playing with fire, though history proves tbat that is a game Wall st. likes. Probably the most disquieting item of news is that relating to the proposed retirement of a portion of onited States Steel preferred into a bond, the object of which is, of course, to obtain fresh capital to meet the requirements of the company's business. The statements issued by the com¬ pany have not foreshadowed this, but their seciuities have al¬ ways rested under the suspicion that the organization of the company was made too hurriedly, and that securities were issued too lavishly in order to avert at any cost a conflict in the steel trade that appeared to be imminent. Any price was paid for the sake of other interests at stake, and it is felt that a time must come when au equalizing process will set in and a penalty will have to be paid for previous error. Meantime, no weakness will be permitted if it is true that a new Jinancial scheme is to be carried out, and probably the method of raising the new funds will be one that will offer some immediate advantage—a some¬ what equivocal benefit—to the stock in the form of rights. MONEY in the great European centers is approaching the "glut" stage aud bankers are beginning to bemoan the prospect. The chairman of the International Bauk of London recently presented the case thus: "It is probable that towards the middle and end of this year we may see a great abundance of money in this country, and correspouding difficulty for banks to invest their capital profitably. We have at the present moment in Germany au absolutely unparalleled abundance of money, which has found expression quite lately in the remark¬ able fact that the Imperial Bank of Germany actually had more gold in their coffers than there were bank notes outstanding, and which has produced the remarkable phenomenon that money for ordinary and stock exchange purposes in Berlin is cheaper than I ever recollect. That, I need not say, is not exactly a blessing for banking institutions, and I am afraid that as months go by we shall probably have a similar state of things in this cotmtry. especially if America, notwithstanding its great internal prosperity, is obliged to go on sending us gold in order to pay for various purchases of material and of securities." The growing production of gold has an important bearing on the matter of money supply, and returns thereof are eagerly read. Especially is this the case with reference to the Rand, where slow but sure progress is being made. Production and values reported by the Transvaal Chamber of Mines are: November, 39,095 ounces, $781,900; December, 52.897 ounces, $1,057,940; January, 70,340 ounces, $1,406,800; February, 81,405 ounces, $1,- 628,100. Australia reported a production of 4,330,000 crude ounces for 1901, to compare with 4,193,000 ounces for 1900, and 4,461,000 for 1899. The average value per crude ounce is $17.40, which would make the 1901 output worth $75,342,000. German iron interests report further improvement, and the cement in¬ terests, if anything, further prostration. One cement company has declared a dividend of 2 per cent, against 6 per cent, last year; one of 3 per cent., against 12 per cent, for 1900, which had, however, to be paid from surplus, although the company sold 169,700 tons of Portland; some companies are in financial straits and some contemplating reduction of capital, etc. The proposed discontinuance of sugar bounties is causing something of a scare in Austria and especially in Bohemia where a large proportion of the population lives by the production of beet sugars, and values of property and supplies are based upon large profits hitherto made by means of export bounties and high home priees. A Fluid City. THE Evening Post has recently commented on the fact that New York, not only industrially but socially, has not as yet been able to settle down. "The sign of an established and durable social order in a city," it says, "is the presence of dearly defined neighborhoods, where people of common tastes aqd similar resources find near at hand their natm-al associates. But it is doubtful if any great number of New Yorkers, except those of foreign origin, are in any such fortunate situation. You will flnd an Italian, a Chinese, a Hungarian quarter, but where will you find an aristocratic, an artistic, or a university quarter?" And it attributes this lack to a fixed domicile of peo¬ ple with similar tastes and modes of living to the fluid condition of the city, which prevents any gathering together of the clans. Certainly, nothing is more remarkable about New York, than the rapidity with which population and busiuess shift their habitations, and just at present, what with the new bridges and tunnels, which are stretching out in every direction, there are impending, perhaps, readjustments more than ever radical and rapid. Nevertheless, we believe tbat the Post in the above quotation exaggerates the lack of accomplished facts in the dis¬ tribution of New York population and business. So far as the latter is concerned there is much in the present occupation of space that is relatively permanent. The financial district is well fixed, and one can scarcely imagine any very radical shift¬ ing in the future. Even the expansion of business in this dis¬ trict does not encroach much upon the space occupied by other trades, because it is taking place in blocks one dimension of which is twenty stories high. In the same way tbe glass, provision, clothes, leather and tobacco trades, all of them oc¬ cupy locations, which have remained comparatively unchanged for many years, and which will change only to expand from existing centers. The greatest expansion is taking place in what may be vaguely called the wholesale trade, which within the past fifteen years has been creeping rapidly up from Bleecker st, along the lines of Broadway and 5th av., to 23d St., and which is just now devouring space hitherto devoted to residences more quickly than ever; but even in this case the change is only in the way of an advance from an existing base. As business has pushed further north, it has displaced resi¬ dences by tbe hundred; yet it is too much to say, as the Post says, that the habitation map of New York fails to contain any "quarters." There is an "aristrocatic" quarter, in the only sense that any quarter in iiew York can be aristocratic. Along the line of Sth av., north of 4Sth st., is a section devoted to very rich people, which is as much of a quarter in its way as the West End of London. Furthermore, south of 48th st, aloug the same line, there is a pretty definite district, in which clubs and bachelor apartment houses predominate; while some blocks to the west, there is a quarter known as the Tenderloin, in which people of similar tastes, if not of similar resources, are said to co-habit, and which may be considered as tbe "sign of a durable aud established social order" in much the same way that the gallows has been considered the sign of a civilized society. It is true that New York has not like Paris, an artistic or a university "quarter," but is not that because there are not