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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 80, no. 2062: September 21, 1907

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Septeniber 21, 1907 RECORD AKD GUIDE 433 mm. ESTABUSHEB^i^CH2l!Í*^lB68. DE6ĩtíH0j^LESTAJE.BmLDIlfc #;ff^|TEeTVJR.Ei{oUSEaolBDEQÍ]ĩiAT10IÍ, BtrsntaB'AifotiíEMES of GEjfeHí^l IiíierísTí PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE EIGHT DOLLARS Comiminicatĩoris should be addressed to C. W. SWEET ^ Tablished EVerg Satardap By THB KECORD APíD GUIDE CO. President, GLINTON W. SWEET Treasurer, F, W. DODGE Vice-Pres. & Genl, Mgr., H. W. DBSMOND Secretary, F. T. MILLER Wos. 11 to 15 East 24th Street,-New YorU City (Telephone, Madison Sqiiare, 4430 to 4433.) "Entered at the Poat Office at Neio Tork, N. ■y,, as seooiiil-citiss matter." CjJpyrighted, 1Ũ07, by The Record & Guide Co, Vol. LXXX, SEPTEMBER 21, 1907. No. 2062, INDEX TO DEPARTMENTS. Advertiaing Sectlon. Pago. Page. CemeDt ......................xvi Lumher .....................xx Clay Producta ...............xvil Machiuery ..................viii Consulting Engineers ........ví Metal Work .................xv Contractors and Builders .....Iv Quick Joh Directory ..........xx Electrical Interests ..........ix Real Estate ....................xi Firêproofing ..................ii Roofers and Roofing Materials.ix Granite ...................xvili Stone ....................xviíi ĩron and Steel ...............x Wood Products...........xxi SOME weeks ago the Record and Guide predicted that the naturally upward teiĩdency oE the stock market would be constantlj' checked by the influence of had news, caused by a slow process of business contraction, aud the course of the market recently has justified this prediction. First the fall in the price of copper, and then the diminution ín the volume of new business written by the steel manu- facturers were used to depress prices, and as a resuit oC these eonditions severe and successful attacks were made both on the copper stocks and on the leading indnstrials. It was remarkable, however, that the generaĩ list withstood this pressure very well. It receded, but it did not recede very far, and it soon reacted when it became evident that the selling was over-done, It is probable, however, that the industrials will remain a weak point in the market for quite a long time. No one cau assert with any confidence, bow far the busiuess reaction will go. They talk at present oE a diminution of business amounting to twenty-five per cent, but it may easily reach larger flgures. Âs long as no panic occurs, it is improbable that railway stockã will be purchásed very much cheaper than they ean be at pres- ent, but it is quite possible that the very best industrials may go lower before they go higher. How low they will go will depend upon the extent of the business contraction. ĩf companies such as tbe Steel Corporation and Americau Car and Foundry are again obliged to abandon dividends on theír common stocks, the preferred stocks may fall ten points more; but unless the business contraction becomes very acute some such loss would appear to be the limit, Steel preferred went to 50 in 1903, but its position is much stronger now and its lirait ís more likely to be flxed by the low record of a stronger industrial stock in 1903 such as Car aud Foundry. The preferred stock of that company did not go much below, and the business outlook will have to be very desperate in order to justify a ĩower price than that. The surpluses of the conservatively managed compa- nies have been almost doubled since during the period of abundant business, and they are all in a much better posĩ- tion to stand a lean season. Moreover their managements know very well that as soon as the money market becomes easier and the credit of the railways is restored, many im- provements, which have recently been abandoned, will be resumed. Just at present good railway stocks are relatively cheaper than the industrials, but if the latter go much lower this condition will not continue. —------------«--------------- TH'E impression is coraing to be more and more general that some restriction on the height of buildings will be imposed in the revised Buildiug Code. When the Board of Fire Underwriters go so far as to ask that non-fireproof business buildings be restricted to an area of 5,000 square feet and a height of 5 5 'feet, and fireproof buildings to a height of 12 5 feet, It is evident that the movement in favor of restriction is assuĩfims formidable proportions. Sup- posing such a restríetion to be adopted, it is an interesting question as to what its effect would be. For one thing it would, we belíeve, practically prohibit the erqction of non- flreprooE commercial buildings, except in cheap neighbor- hoods and for manufacturing purposes. It would mean practically that alî office and loft buildings would be of fireproof construction and would be built to a height of eleven stories. So Ear as loft buildings are concerned, we do not believe that such a result would mean a very radical change from that which happens at present. A few flfteen or sixteen-story loft buildings have been erected on Fifth avenue and elsewhere, but their number is small and their prohi- bition in the future would not be a great hardship. The number of non-fireproof loEt buildings, six or seven stories high which are construeted under the exîsting law is also eoraparatively sraall, and we do not believe that their pro- hibition would be a severe hardship, or would substantially affect the priee of real estate in the wholesale district. On the other hand, the liraitation of the height of offlce build- ings to eleven stories would mean a drastic alteration of existing methods and conditions. The average offlce build- ing is now built to a height of twenty stories, and if this height were practíeally cut In half, considerable ehanges would be effected in real estate values. Alraost twice as many oífice buildings would have to be ereeted in order to accommodate the sarae nuraber of tenants, and these build- ings would eover practically twice the areá. Property some distance from the existing centres of business would be favorabiy affected, beeause it would be sooner reached by the march oE improvement, whereas unimproved property nearer existing centres of business would, for the tirae be- ing, be worth somewhat less. We do not believe that they wouid continue to be worth less because tenants would be willing to pay proportionately higher rents for the more convenient locations but for the time being a restriction would affect uufavorably the position of high-priced prop- erty. If any of our readers believe that the results of the proposed restriction would be different from that described above, we should be glad to publish their opinions. ^ IT has been suggested that the purchase by the city of the Beĩ- mont tunnel would be the best means of solving that difficult problem, and the Record and Guide cordially aeciuiesces in the suggestion. The Belmont tunnel should be purchased by New York, extended at least as far west as Long Aere Square, and connected in the best possible manner with the existing subway. Some equitable arrangement could surely be made whereby the city makes the purchase, authorizes the extension of the tun- neî, and then leases to the Interborough Co. for a sufflcient sum to cover its outlay. Such an arrangement would have at least two advantages, It would give the city ownersbíp of and con- trol over a tunnel under the East River which sbould be raade an integral part of the rapid transit system of the whole city, and which can only be made by sueh a purehase. Secondĩy, it would make the tunnel far raore useful to the pubĩie than it can be under existing conditions. At present, owing to the lack of effective conneetions on the Manhattan side its utility will be seriously limited, whereas, if it were extended to Long Acre Square and subsequently connected with all the longitudinal sub- ways running north and south it would constitute a very useful addition to the rapid transit system of the city. Under existing arrangements the inhabitants of Queens have no very direct method of reaching the amusement center at Long Acre Square; and the Belmont tunnel, properly connected, would supply that deficiency, It would not only constitute a great convenience to the residents of Queens and a part of Brooklyn, but it would aĩso improve the business of the theatres, restaurants and shops in the vieinity of Broadway and Forty-second street. MR. ALLAN ROBINSON, in a reeent interview, has given expression to the poĩicy in respect to rapid tran- sit, whieh the "Allied Real Estate ĩnterests," proposed to advocate, That policy is the thoroughly sound one of insisting upon the all-importance of the eonstruction of new subways; and it is certain that the representative real estate organization can in no other way perform a better public service. The Utilities Commission is so much preoceupied with its ĩnvesti- gation of the Interborongh-Metropolitan Co. that it is neglecting, entirely the far more important matter of arranging for the construction of new subways. Its investigation has not been without good results. A certain improvement in service, particularly during the non-rush hours is taking place, and if these results have been accomplished at the expeuse of a eomplete destruction of the credit of the Interborough- Metropolitan Company that Is not the faqĩt of the comroission.