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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 76, no. 1970: December 16, 1905

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December i6, 1905 RECORD AND GUIDE 945 ESTABDSHED-^jJyiRpKSl- rail. ^' • 1868, DD6'[El)pRa,LESTAIE.BuiLDlKB ^RCKlTZCTURE.HoUSOJOlDDEGQEjATltMi, BUsii/ess AifcThemes OF GeiJepiaV iKTERfst. PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE EIGHT DOLLARS Published eVerg Saturdag Communications ahould be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street, New York Telephone, Cortlandt 3157 "Entered at the Post. Office at Neio York, N. Y.. as second-class mailer." Vol. LXXVI. DECEMBER 16, 1905. No. 1970 INDSK TO DEPARTMENTS. Advertising; Section. Page. Page. Cement ....................xxvii Law .........................xiii Clay Products ...............xxvi Machinery .....................v Contractors and Builders.....viii Metal Work .................xxiil Electrical Interests ..........vii Quiclr Job! Fireproofing Real Estaie ...................x\ Granite ....................xxviii Roofers & Roofing Materials, .xii Heating ....................xxLv Stone ....................xxviii Iron and Steel................xxii Wood Products ..............xxs THE action of the stock market has continued to show the mixed effect of recldess speculation and conservative re¬ straint. There has heen no general and sustained rise in values. On one day a group of railway stocks is forced up hy tne powerful speculative pools, who are operating on the bull side. On the next day a similar feat is accomplished with cer¬ tain industrial stocks. But in- the meantime the general market fails to respond to this heroic treatment, and there are indica¬ tions that other stocks are being sold under cover of the ad¬ vances. But flagrant as are the evidences of manipulation, the course of the market during the week shows very clearly that moderating influences remain substantially in control, and that the speculation will not be allowed to go too far. It has, how¬ ever, gone far enough for the present, and a moderate amount of weakness from now until after the holidays would be dis¬ tinctly a wholesome thing. No general or sustained advance can be expected as long as existing conditions prevail, and cur¬ rent methods are necessary to bring it about. THE real estate transactions during the past week have been, if anything, even more numerous and various than dur¬ ing any previous week of the current season. The chief center of speculative activity remains in the district affected hy the Pennsylvania and trolley terminals, and tnis district will un¬ doubtedly remain in a ferment for a long time to come. It is different from other speculative districts, because, in case a higher level of values is permanently established, it will not only have to be transformed, but reformed; and a process of reformation from dubiousness to respectability is a slower pro¬ cess than a process of transformation from one kind of respect¬ ability to another. Most of the recent buying has talten place either on Sixth avenue and in the immediate vicinity of the ter¬ minal, and the only improvement yet announced for this vicinity is the erection of a sky-scraper on the southeast corner of 33d street and Greeley square. An excellent demand for high-priced residence property continues to be indicated, and it looks as if a renewal of speculative buying in the section east of the Cen¬ tral Park would be justified during the coming spring. This is likely particularly to be the ease, provided the prices of secu¬ rities in Wall Street continue on the whole to advance. If they do continue to advance, the new-rich-man may become as conspicuous in New York in 1906 as he was in 1901 and 1902- Another noteworthy incident is the announcement of the lirst buiiding operation in the Dycltman tract. Inasmuch as Subway trains will be running to Kingsbridge within a few weeks, this announcement is only natural, and a renewal of speculative buying in that vicinity will take place during the winter and spring. Vacant property in this district continues to be tbe cheapest property in Manhattan or the Bronx, considering its accessibility, and it offers a fair fleld for exploitation. It wil! probably be improved throughout with the class of tenements which prevail in Harlem; and in the vicinity of the water front arrangements will have to be made for the transaction of a good deal of business. The great obstacle to the early improve¬ ment of the district is the backward condition of street-open¬ ing proceedings, and other similar Inconveniences; but much can be accomplished in this respect during the summer, pro¬ vided the work is vigorously prosecuted. The Dyckman tract is entitled to an earlier development than are portions of the Bronx, where improvements are already under way- THEUB has been a very excellent sale for apartment houses situated on the West Side during the past week, which calls attention to the fact that, even if renting is somewhat slack in the newer districts, it remains extremely good on the West Side. Neither is it likely to be very much unsettled hereafter, even if there is over-building elsewhere in Manhattan and in the Bronx, The Subway has accomplished all that it was ex¬ pected to accomplish for the West Side, and in the future that district will continue to have such an advantage in point of convenience over districts further north that the owners of apartment houses in that section of the city can count upon keeping their huildings well fllled. They will not have local over-building to fear, because the opportunity for it does not exist- The vacant property remaining on the West Side Is mostly situated on Broadway and Riverside Drive, and is so expensive that it can he handled by only a few well-to-do and conservative builders. There can be no doubt that future im¬ provements wiil take the form chiefly of large flreproofed apart¬ ment houses. Indeed, just as the East Side is being dedicated to expensive private residences, so the West Side will be dedi¬ cated to twelve-story flats. Plans have been filed during the past year for four buildings of this class, whose total cost will be about $3,500,000, and this list does not include either the new Astor apartment house or a half a dozen smaller buildings which will cost on the average about $250,000 each. This is the class of improvement which will prevail hereafter on the West Side, and as soon as such buildings have been erected on the vacant frontages on Broadway and elsewhere, they will be substituted, wherever possible, for existing private dwellings. This substitution has already been commenced in the vicinity of Broadway and 72d street. The old Colonial Club property, sold during the past week, is likely to become the site of a twelve-story apartment house, and other similar operations will follow, particularly in the vicinity of Subway express stations. The movement will be hampered by the large number of restric¬ tions which have been placed upon West Side property; but it is bound to prevail in the long run. There seems to be no tendency in the development of New York City to open new expensive residential districts, either for private dwellings or apartment houses. The newer districts are all being given up to a cheap class of improvements. I I I APTER the election New York citizens of ordinary Intelli¬ gence seemed to be almost unanimously making two as¬ sertions respecting its results. One was that with a fair vote and a fair count William R. Hearst would have been elected Mayor of the metropolis. The other was that, whether elected or not, he never would he seated. The second of these asser¬ tions seems to be in fair way of fulfilment, while the investiga¬ tion, so far as It was allowed to go, seemed to render the flrst extremely probable. It remains to be seen whether Mr. Hearst can secure the assistance of the Legislature in pushing the investigation further. In all probability he will be able to do so, because the Republicans are not likely to miss so good an opportunity of worrying the local Democratic machine; but In this event the investigation would assume a partisan character, which, under the circumstances, is to be very much regretted. Another unfortunate consequence would be the difiiculty under which the business of the city would be conducted, as long as there was any question about the Mayor's title to his office; and if by any chance Mr. Hearst should be eventually seated instead of Mr. McCIellan a still further disorganization would take place. The actual installment of Mr. Hearst would mean, for instance, nothing less than the abandonment of all Subway extensions during his term, because the city has not the money to build the new subways, and it is improbable that an admini¬ stration headed by Mr. Hearst could reach any agreement with the traction companies- The consequence is, of course, that many people who believe that Mr. Hearst has been in some way deprived of an office to which he is entitled will look with equanimity upon the continued occupation by Mr, McCIellan of his position. But it is very much to be hoped that Mr. Mc¬ CIellan, in case he retains the offiee, will do his best to disarm the criticism of the Municipal Ownership party. Of course, he cannot succeed entirely in avoiding their condemnation, but he should succeed in obtaining very much better terms for the leases of the new subways than were obtained for those already constructed. Public opinion will not be satisfied with any worse terms than those which were obtained for the right to construct and operative the so-called McAdoo tunnel on Sixth avenue.