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Columbia University Libraries Digital Collections: The Real Estate Record

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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 80, no. 2061: September 14, 1907

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RECORD AOT) GTJIDB ESTABUSHED-^ ÍWBfĩH Sl^ 1868, Dr6Ttí» p~ RPA,L EsTíOE-BUlLDIlfe AftKnĩeTUI^ .KoUSEtíOID DEQŨĨÍAIlOlf. BtrsDtess AiûitHaæs VGeííM^*' IrftESFsi.; PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE EIGHT DOLLARS Communicationa sbould be addressed to C. W. SWEET Pablisfied EVers Satardat? , By THE KBCORD AND GUIDE CO. Presldent, CLINTON W. SWEET Treasurer, P. W. DODGE Viee-Pres, & Genl. Mgr., H, W. DGSMOND Secretary, F. T, MILLER ĩíos. 11 to 15 East 24tU Street, New Tork City (TelepĩioDe, Madison Square, 4-Í30 to 4-133.) "Enterett at the Post Offioe at NeiB YorJt N. y,, (is seoontl-elass matter." Copyriglited, 1907 by The Record & Guiiie Co. Vol. LXXX, SEPTEMBER 1-1, 1907. No. 200], INDBX TO DEPARTMENTS. Advertising Sectlon. Pago, Page. Cement ......................xvi Lumber .....................xx Glay Products ...............xvii Machiuery ConsuItiDg Engineers ........xv Metal Work ...............xiv Contractors and Builders .....Iv Quiclt Job Direotory..........xĸ B'lectrical Interests ..........vii Real Estate ..................ix Fĩreproofing ..................ii Wood Products ..............xxl Granite ...................xviii Stone ....................xvlil Iron and Steel ............vĩii Wood Products...........xxi THE large number ol sutiscriptions obtained for the city bond sale justifies conclusively one inference: The 4Ĩ^ per cent. stock, -which the suhscribers have secured at ahout 102, will eventually constitute an extremely profîta- ble investment for their purchasers. The chance to pur- ehase city bonds at a price whieh nets the investor almost i^ per cent. is one whieh is not liliely to occur again for a period indefinitely long, As Mr. Harriman says, it was a rare opportunity, and one to take advantage of, which would justify many eapitalists in retiring from business. It is probahle that this stock will he selling hefore January Ist on a 4 per cent. basis and that hefore January 1, 1909, the yieĩd at current quotatious will not he much over 3 ^ per cent. It is evident that these bonds were issued just at the time wheu the tide was beginning to turn. The scarcity of loanable capital, which has been embarrassing the business of the eountry íor such a long period, will little by little pass away, and signs are accumulating on every side of a mod- erate business reaction, hut one which will be quite suíB- cient to ease the money market. It will be brought ahout chiefly by the ahandonment or eurtaîlment of expensive im- provements. The railroads and the large corporations are adopting this poliey wherever possible, and the smaller fry will have to follow suit. It does not take very long for a reaction of this kind to cause an oversupply of money in the banlis, In 1903 it required less than a year for the country to pass from a. condition of scarcity to one of abund- ance, and the wealth of the United States has increased enormousĩy during the past four years. Within a year there will again he a superfĩuity of loanable capital, and such a superfiuity is hound to cause an appreciation o£ the price of all good securities. This rise in price will he partieularly noticeahle in securities such as city bonds, which cannot be affected in vaíue either by a deeline in business or by polit- ical agitation, The only questions are now, How far will the husiness reaction go, and what bad effects will Jt tiave? These questious cannot be answered as yet. The generai situation seems on the whole to be sound, but there are weak spots here and there, which may prove to be infectious, Business men will have to be prudent ahout børrowing money for some time to come, but this fact has no hearing upon New York City stock. Small investors should pur- chase all the eity bonds they can at present prices, There are few easier and no more certain ways of making money. IT is improbabĩe that anything will come of the effort to estahlish a legal distinction between tenements and apartment houses. The tenement-house reformers have al- ways beeu suspicious of any attenipt to define an apartment in terms distinct from a tenement house, and to relax cer- tain provisions of the tenement-house law in favor of the former. Neither can they be blamed for such a suspicion. The distinction between tlie two classes of huildings is per- fectly obvious, when one is situated in Rivington street and the other on lower Fifth avenue, or when one costs $40,000 and the other $400,000; hut this distinction, obvious as it is at the two ends of the scale, beeomes almost impercepti- ble at a eertain point in the mĩddle of the scale. There are thousands of buildings iu New York which were huilt as flat or apartment houses, but which have become tenements; and almost any building in wiiich many families live, and which costs less than $1,200 for each foot of frontage on the street, may easily become a tenement. Certainly the defini- tion of an apartment house in the Underwriters' model code is by no means beneath suspicion. Many huildings in Harĩem have been planned so that every apartment contained a liv- ing-roora, a díning-room, a kitehen, two hed-rooms and a bathroom, which have sinee become tenements. There can be no possible guarantee that a room called a "parlor" or a "dining-room" will continue to be so used. Probably the most practicable definition of an apartment house would he oue which cost a certain sum per cubic foot of contents, hut a buildiug commissioner could hardly apply such a defini- tion to the merely estimated cost of a set of plans. The one coneession wliich might he made would be to allow fire- proofed tenement houses to be called "apartment houses," and to secure certain advantages from the classification. That might encourage the fireproofing of apartment houses, wliich would be a useful thing to do. THE only news whieh emanates from the offlce of the Public Service Commission in respeet to the construc- tion of new transit routes is entirely negative. The commis- sion will not even advertise for bids on the proposed Fourth avenue subway in Brooklyn, beeause it believes that there is no chance of seeuring a bidder. This decision is undoubtedly well taken. There is no chanee of seeuring a bidder uuder ex- isting conditions, and the Record and Guide is not sorry that such is the ease. The construction of auother tunuel to Brooklyn and its extension along Fourth avenue is undoubt- edly a desirable addition to the city's meaus of communica- tion; but it is not the addition which at the present time ís most desirable. Mauhattau aud the Bronx are in far greater need oE more suhways thau is Brooklyn, The city is just finishing one tunnel under the East River, and it is spend- ing tens of millions of dollars on two additional bridges. Then in addition, the Long Island Railroad Company and the Interborough Company are constructing six other tubes for the same purpose. Within flve years the means of com- munieation wĩth Long Island will be enormously improved, whereas uothing at all is being done for the inhabitants of Manhattan and the Broux. Sueh being the general condi- tion, it would be gross favoritism for the eity to appropriate $23,000,000 for another Brooklyn tunnel. If this money were appropriated it would dimiuish the city's debt-limit by so large a sum that more Manhattau and Bronx subways would be impossihle under the existíng law. No, now that the construction of uew subways for Mauhattan and the Bronx has been temporarily ahandoned, it is only faír that the construction of a new Brooklyn subway should be ahan- doned also. Then, when conditions are more favorable, ttie whole matter ean be taken up on a new basis, and the money available for this purpose can be fairly distributed accord- ing to the îmminence of the needs of the respective hor- oughs. THE plain faet ís, of course, that under existing cîrcum- stances auy new subway construction is impossihle, and this impossibility depends partly upon the law, partly upon the city's financial condition and partly upon the geu- eral fiuancial eonditions. At the present time it would be diíĩieult to raise the money for new subways, even if the debt-Iimit of New York was as abundant as it was in 1903, or îf the credit of the Interborough Company stood as high as it did before its uufortunate merger with the Metropoli- tau. In addition, however, to this general stringeucy, the city cannot afford to appropriate money for subways out of its narrow margin, and in any event the large interest whích it is obliged to pay makes it desirable that as few bonds as possible should be issued during the coming year. The Interhorough Company is, of course, iu a far worse position than the city. Even if it were offered a lease for seventy-five years, it probably couĩd not raise the money for new suhways on its own credit, and of course a lease for twenty years would he as valuable to it in its existing condition as uo lease at all. Obviously radical rearrange- meuts of some kind will he necessary before any further subway construction becomes possible, and the most serious question of municîpal policy in New York City turns upoQ