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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 81, no. 2078: January 11, 1908

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January ii, 1908. RECORD AND GUIDE 71 ESTABUSHED'^M,I«^CHSli!> 1668. DD^rjlDibRf^LESTAXE.SUlLDI^O ^Rp(lTEeTUI\E,HoUSEH01DDEGOf?Anotl, Bi/sit/ess AffoThemes op Ge^Ier^V IffreRfsi. PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE EIGHT DOLLARS Commuaications should be addressed to C. W. SWEET Published Etierp Saturdag By THE KECOKD AND GUIDE CO. President, CLINTON W. SWEET Treasurer, F. W. DODGE Vice-Pres, & Genl. Mgr., H. W. DESMOND Secretary, F. T. MILLER Nos. 11 lo lo East 24tli Street, New York City (Telephone, Madison Square, 4430 to 4433.) "Entered at the Post Office at Netn York, N. Y.. as scfi/n'-fkiss nuitiry." Copyrighted, 1907, by The Record & Gui-le Co. Vol. LXXXL JANUARY 11, 190S. No. 207S INDEX TO DEPARTMENTS. Advertising Section. Page. Page. Hement .......................xiv Lumher ........................xv Clay Products .................xii Machinery CousultiDg Engineers ........xilL Metal Work ..................xl Contractors and Builders ___ill Quick Job Directory ...........ix Electrical Interests ..........xiii Real Estate ..................vii Fireproofing ....................ii Roofers & Roofing Materials.xvi Granite .......................xvii Stone ........................xvi Iron and Steel .................v Wood Products ...............xv MAYOR MeCLELLAN'S annual message is a document which one lays down, after reading, with the feeling that the administration has the fullest appreciation of those questions which for property owners are the real issues of the day iu this city, and we suppose the same could be said of ail the matters considered in the pages of the message. Mr. McClellan faces with directness and fairness an unusual numher of topics which have heen pressing for determina¬ tion; as, for example, the propriety of a change in the time of collecting taxes; the city's inability to fully collect arrears of taxes, and the constitutional limit of indebtedness, in the departments of finance; the revision of the charter; the Fifth Avenue widening; the distressing congestion in down-town streets; better sewers; street pavements and roadways; as¬ sessments for parks; and, also, transit and bridge questions, besides giving a graphic account of what is going on in all the municipal departments. Appertaining to the proposal to widen the roadway of Fifth Avenue, the Mayor is of the opinion that the time has arrived to proceed definitely in the matter, as the courts have cleared away the last legal obstacle, leaving nothing intervening but to give notice of the dooryard spaces being required for public purposes. And by order of the Mayor surveys and maps are being made to show where the encroachments are. The notice to property owners may now come at any time—by resolution of the Board of Aldermen, presumably, and particular con¬ sideration wi!l be shown to those who will consent to re¬ move their buildings without forcing the city into the courts. The net enlargement of the roadway will be about fifteen feet. For so many years has the probability of this action been discussed in the public journals, the subject in its various aspects ought to be familiar to everyone. In many cases the impending regulation was long ago anticipated in respect to obstructions beyond the building line, but there are instances of encroaching columns, and especially of cer¬ tain architeetuTal ornamentations, which no doubt will be the subject of future consideration with a view to leniency, seeing that while they may be misplaced they in nowise will interfere with the general plan to gain more room for ve¬ hicular traffic. Whatever objection in the nature of a gen¬ eral movement on the part of property owners may be interposed to the widening, it will not be on the ground that the drive is not too narrow, but rather through fear of the consequences of an inflexible interpretation of the ordi¬ nances; and hence it might be a proper proceeding to suggest to the authorities a consideration of the possibility of a moderation of lines and terms that would eliminate tem¬ porarily some of the drastic and expensive features and yet not prevent ultimately the. full attainment of the object. million dollars has been the city's contribution under this head during the last, five years, and the probabilities are that this will be about all for the present, or until improve¬ ments more urgently necessary for the general welfare have been provided. The expenses connected with condemnation proceedings for new parks have been enormous, over and above the value of the lands taken, and the authorities feel that with the large number of local parks that have been laid out since the consolidation, and the present need for funds in other directions being so pressing, further expenses of this character should be defrayed by the localities de¬ siring the improvements; and coupled with this resolution will probably 'be, if the recommendations of the city engi¬ neers are followed, a scheme for a new and definite policy in assessing benefits and damages for all public works. The proportion of cost which the Borough of Manhattan has had to bear for many purely local improvements elsewhere has been heavy, and the taxpayers are not likely to object to the money being used for more general objects. Touching upon another matter in the message, the propriety of chang¬ ing the financial calendar, it will be observed that the Mayor accepts the judgment of the Advisory Commission that the real reason for the demands for a change in the date for the collection of taxes is the large deficiency in current funds, due to the city's inability to enforce the prompt payment of taxes on real estate. The present method of providing cur¬ rent funds was adopted after due consideration for what the commission believes "good and sufficient reasons," and it is convinced that it is not desirable to make a change in this respect. But Mayor McClellan is satisfied that an amendment to the charter which the commission has pro¬ posed will not only be effective in collecting "all" taxes in arrears, but wil! also "have the eifect of the Pennsylvania system, by which defects iu titles to real property can be cured." The expedient referred to is to sell the lien instead"- of a lease, and permit the purchaser to realize upon this' as he would upon a mortgage when due. Should tbese hopes be fulfilled the city will no longer have to worry about where the money for a municipal subway is to come from, espe¬ cially as the Mayor is doubtful concerning the wisdom of changing the statutes so as to extend the constitutional debt limit. A RESOLUTION, assessing the costs of acquiring new pub¬ lic parks in accordance with the direct local benefit, instead of charging the sum to the city at large, is another importaat recorameudation of the annual message. Forty BROOKLYN can with reason expect a new era of growth from the opening of the Battery tunnel this week, notwithstanding that in some degree the benefit has been largely anticipated during the years that the construction work has been going on. The continuous one-fare transit in actual operation from the office district of Manhattan to a high-class residential district heretofore accessible only at the cost of much personal discomfort, through the "bridge crush," is certain to start a new emigration. The expansion v/hich Brooklyn has had in the last three or four years, in part anticipatory of this new subway extension, aud iu part attributable to general prosperity and natural growth, has been principally in the suburban wards not directly to be served by this subway. The Heights and the sections near the stations on the way to the terminal at Atlantic ave¬ nue have been long settled, and quite unchanged of late years in their external appearance, and probably would have seen the same rise in real estate values if the tunnel had not been building. These are the districts which will obtain the largest immediate results from this the first real con¬ solidation since the enabling act for Greater New York. Great numbers of people already living in Brooklyn will desire to live on the line of "the new subway, so they will no longer have to cross the Bridge; and there will be many doing business in our financial district to whom a residence in the Heights section of Brooklyn will be more convenient and desirable under the new circumstances than their pres¬ ent places of abode in this borough. No denial can be entered to this, any more than to the fact that there was a very large emigration to Brooklyn after the opening of tho Brooklyn Bridge in 1S83. In this connection the action of the Bronx Board of Real Estate Brokers, in issuing a call to al! civic societies on the North Side to "denounce the Utilities Commission's neglect of the Bronx," is taken as highly significant of the apprehensions entertained in that quarter, thoirgh it may be, in view of the recommendation made last week by the Commission for an East Side subway, that the intentions of the body have not been understood. At any rate, fairness demands an even-handed distribution of public utilities, and tte Bronx is justified In being alert at this crisis.