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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 76, no. 1967: November 25, 1905

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lovember 25, 1905 RECORD AND GUIDE 81;^ ESTABUSHED-^ imipti20-r^ 1868, Dev&TED to ftE^L ESTAII, ©^ILDI^'G AR.cKlTEeTJRE.[^01iSEllOLD DEGORATlOPf, Bi/sir/ESS Af/oThemes of GhtJei^hI In'teresi. PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE EIGHT DOLLARS Published every Saturdag Comm-uoications should bo addressed to C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street. New York Telephone, Cortlandt :!1.^7 "Entered al the Post Office at New York. N. Y. as se.eond-class mailer:' Vol. LXXVI, NOVEMBER 25, 1905. No, 10B7. Page, INDSX TO DEPARTMENTS. Advertising Section. Page. Cement ..................xxiii Law ........................x Clay Products.............xxii Machinery .................iv Contractors and Builders___vi Metal Work ...............xix Electrical Interests........viii Quick Job Directory......xxvii Fireprooflng ................ii Real Esiate ................-vii Granite ..................xxiv Stone ....................xxiv ■Heating....................xx Wood Products ...........xxvi Iron and Stee! ............xviii THERE are good reasons for disliking tiie looks of the present stock market. It behaves in an extremely ner¬ vous and erratic manner, and in spite of the lower rates for money, does not justify any confldence in its stability. From day to day different groups of securities are subject to flag¬ rant manipulation. While the pools remain, on the whole, in control of the situation, it looks very much as if they were adopting shifty tactics in order to reduce their obligations. In short, it is the kind of marivet which knight come very sud¬ denly to grief; and we do not believe that conservative opin¬ ion in Wall Street would regret a sharp break, which might serve to keep speculation sober until after the first of the year. Then there might be room for many speculative advances under the leadership of Steel Preferred. That stock has not been subject to an important movement either one way or the other during the past few months; but it ought to be good for a ten point rise on its dividend record and prospects; and if such a rise could be engineered, it would do more than any¬ thing else to effect a genera! buying movement. THE activity in real estate during the past week, has prob¬ ably heen greater and more varied than it has been during any week of the current year. It has included almost every important class of property; and it has been distributed throughout every important part of the city. The most notable transactions have, however, taken place in vacant property. Large areas have been sold in Brooklyn and Queens for early development. ■ Operators have purchased equally large areas in the Bronx, in the evident expectation of repeating the suc¬ cessful speculations of last year, while the Fleischmann Realty & Construction Company has bought two blocks of unimproved property in Harlem from the Manhattan Railway Company. Evidently speculators believe that there is no need to reduce the pace at the present time, and they must be counting on the continuation of the current consumption of vacant prop¬ erty for tenement house purposes. The Record & Guide is afraid that in this respect they are making a mistake, for the present building movement cannot be continued for another year without bringing with it a renewal of the unwholesome conditions which existed on the West Side and in Harlem dur¬ ing 1900. The speculators in Bronx aud Inwood property must take their choice between two alternatives. If they force up the value of land so high that tenements and apartment houses must be built, the consumption of vacant property by build¬ ers cannot remain large; but wherever property is kept so low that one and two family houses can be profitably built upon it, its consumption will be vastly larger. However, vacant land has not by any means b'een monopolizing attention of pur¬ chasers. The buying of tenement houses has continued; a number of expensive residences have been sold; and business property all over the city has been in good demand. A large number of old brown stone houses, between Sth and Gth aves, on 20th and 21st sts, have recently been sold, and will be re¬ placed by loft buildings. These are the only streets south of 23d st, in the new wholesale districts, whicn are still to a large extent unconverted to business uses; but it looks as if at the end of 190G there would be very few residences remain¬ ing on these blocks. Thereafter, the additional room required for lofts will have to be found north of 23d st; and from the appearance of things at present, it looks as if business of this land would occupy the whole district between Broadway aud Sth ave, 23d and 34th sts. The high prices of real estate along the line of Sth ave will force the builders of lofts to go farther west than they have been disposed to do in the past; and there has already been a good deal of activity in the above-described district in anticipation of this result. The decision of the Bast- man Company to build on 23d street, between 7th and 8th aves, is significant in this respect. No other cross-town st has amounted to much west of Tth ave; but apparently the business activity of 23d st wili extend at least as far west as Sth ave, and perhaps farther. Moreover, whatever can be said about the over-production of tenement-house accommodation, there is certainly no over-production of business buildings. In this branch of constructional activity, the growth is regular and wholesome. MU. D, O. MILLS has made a curious selection for the site of the third charitable hotel, which he will have erected in Manhattan, He has paid about $500,000 for a plot of six lots on a corner of SGth st and Tth ave, upon which he proposes to erect a fifteen-story building. But why 36th st and Tth ave for a Mills Hotel? Those institutions are supposed to furnish cheap, clean and wholesome lodgings for poor men; and in order to provide this service, they ought to be located in a part of the city in which poor men work and live, Those al¬ ready constructed are situated in industrial and tenement house districts, where property is not very expensive and where they help to take the place of the unsavory lodging houses, Which are so demoraliKing to their inmates. But the third hotel is situated on comparatively expensive property in the heart of the Tenderloin. It will be very convenient for the impecunious actors, and for sporting men, who are out of luck; but its neighborhood competitors wiil not be cheap and de¬ moralizing lodging houses; they will be the Hotels Navarre and York. It would look, consequently, as if Mr. Mills would have done better to have situated his third hotel two blocks further west, and, perhaps, ten blocks further north. It will be very interesting to see, however, what sort of patronage Mil.s Hotel No. 3 will obtain. Seventh ave, between 42d and 34th sts, will become a very important thoroughfare after the Pennsylvania and Long Island Terminal has been in operation a few years. It would seem to be an extremely good location for theatres and restaurants, as soon as New Yorlt needs any more places of amusement of that kind; and it may be that ten years from now the charitable Mills Hotel will be elbowed by neighbors as gaudy and glittering as the buildings now sit¬ uated on Long Acre Square, IT is natural tbat the owners of the property, between 32d and 33d sts, on Greeley Square, which the New York and New Jersey Railroad proposes to condemn, should object to be¬ ing deprived of real estate so advantageously situated; and it may be that they will succeed in preventing the company from condemning their holdings. It is very much to be desired, how¬ ever, in the public interest that some arrangement can be reached between the property-owners and the railroad, for there can be no doubt that the combined plans of the Pennsylvania and the trolley company offer many advantages to the travelling public of this city. The joint station of the three railroads would undoubtedly be the greatest railroad terminal in the world—not only on account' of its size, but because it would receive aud discharge more passengers than any other exist¬ ing center of railway trafflc. Moreover, as the suburban popula¬ tion of Long Island and New Jersey increases, the facilities of¬ fered by the terminal for travelling from one of these neigh- boi'hoods to the other will be of the utmost convenience to hundreds of thousands of people. If the plans of the company are blocked, it would mean a very real loss to the city of New York. On the other hand, if they are not blocked the city ought to have something to say about the disposition on the street level of the property acquired for terminal purposes. The Record and Guide has frequently pointed out that the existing plan of Greeley Square and its neighborhood will prove to be wholly inadequate for the accommo'dation of the trafflc which, ten years hence, will be concentratea in that vicinity; and now that the terminal plans of the trolley company have been outlined, the force of this warning is very much increased. Already the congestion on the Square during certain evening hours is very bad, and what will it be when the terminal is in full operation, and when more hotels, offlce-buildings and places of amusement have been erected hard by? Just what the best