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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 84, no. 2167: September 25, 1909

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September 25, 1909 RECORD AND GUIDE 553 'Wil ESTABUSHED^'MaBPH 21*:=^ 1368. DDfrtlBpJ^ESTAn.BuiLOIlJb AF^lTEerrJR.E.l^OUSEriOlDpEaa^JlMt'. BiTsnfess AttoThemes of GEjfeRfil IKterp*!^ PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE EIGHT DOLLARS Communications should be addressed to C. W. SWEET Published Every Saturday By THE RECORD AND GUIDE CO. President. CLINTON W, SWEET Treasurer, P. W. DODGE Vice-Pres. & Genl. Mgr., H, W. DESMOND Secretary, F. T. MILLER Nos, 11 to 15 East 24tl> Street, New York City (Telephone. Madison Square, 4430 to 4433.) "Entered at the Post Office at New York. N. Y.. ns srcond-cla.'ss matter." Copyrighted, 1900. by The Record Sl Guide" Co. Vol. LXXXIV. SEPTEMBER 25, 1909. No. 2167, THE LEASE recently consummated of the nortiieast cor¬ ner of Broadway and Forty-second street by the United Ci,%ar Stores Company is in some respects one of the most remarkable and significant ever signed in New York City. On a five per cent, liasis it makes the value of the property, which contains about 12,000 sqnare feet, equal to $165 a sqnare foot, but obviously a lease, assumed hy a corporation of such considerable resources and secured by a huilding- which will probably be sixten stories high should be capital¬ ized at a smaller percentage than flve per cent. After the building is erected, the ground could certainly be sold on a four aud one half per cent, basis and probably on a four per cent, basis. It really implies a capital value nearer :E200 a square foot than $165, and this flgure, considering the size of the property, is very extraordinary. Yet it has been made by the managers of a corporation that is probably the tenant of more Manhattaii real estate than any other corporation in the city. The corporation in question has occupied part of the corner under a temporary lease for a good many years, and it is in the best possible situation to appraise its value. The president of the company has stated that it will be the best business corner in New York City, and if this statement is true, even $200 a square foot would be a cheap price to pay for the property. Most as¬ suredly the statement is plausible, in case the nnmber of people, passing on the street in front of the corner, consti¬ tutes any aecurale measure" of its valne. It is more acces¬ sible and is passed by more people than is the old Hotel Metropole property, or even the Times Building, Both of these other properties cannot be reached either from the east or the west without crossing crowded tlioroughfaies, and a casual pedestrian will not take the trouble to make the crossing unless he is obliged to do so. In the same way the north corner of the intersection should be more valuable than the south, because the whole of Long Acre Square lies to the north, and east corners should be more valuable than west corners, because a larger amount of traffic comes from the east. If the Hotel Metropole property and the plot on which the Times Buiiding stands are more valuable per square foot, that is only because they have larger frontages on the streets in proportion to their area. The northeast corner of Broadway and Porty-second street should certainly be the best bnsiness corner in that immediate vicinity. IT MAY BE DOUBTED, however, whether the corner which has just been leased by the United Cigar Stores Company is actually the best business corner in the central part of Manhattan. In all probability this distinction be¬ longs to the corresponding corner of Broadway and Thirty- fourth street. The difliculty at the present time with the neighborhood of Broadway and Forty-second street is that it has remained too much of a hotel and a theatre district. There is not a single retail establishment of the flrst ira- poftanee in that vicinity; and the only tall office building Ihereabouts is that occupied by the Times. On the other hand the vicinity of Thirty-fourth street and Broadway contains five of the largest department stores in the city, ui!d two of the largest clothing stores. It can already boast of three or four office buildings, and it Is likely to become a better neighborhood for this class of improvement than is its competitor farther north, A location at Forty- second stwet may be better for a cigar store, or a drug store, because that district is more lively at night, but it is the money spent during the day which gives the greatest value to well-situated parcels of real estate. The neighborhood of Forty-second street and Broadway has not yet attracted the most substantial and. profitable kind of business. The., Record and Guide has no doubt that it will do so in the course of time; but hitherto hotels, restaurants and theatres have prevailed, and there is no indication that these will not continue to prevail. Two new hotels, one for Rector's and one for Sbanley's, will soon be built. There is talk of another theatre; very little room, consequently, will he left which can be appropriated by more substantial business en¬ terprises. It may also be remarked that in the future traffic conditions will become more favorable for Greeley Square and less favorable to Forty-second street and Broad¬ way, At present Times Square has heen much favored by the fact that the Subway turns east at Porty-second street. Greeley Square has reached its present import¬ ance without the advantage of the most approved means of transit. But it will not remain long without the best means of communication. Just where a subway will pass through this district is not determined as yet, but manifestly within the next five years subway trains will be running down either Seventh avenue or Broadway or both—an improvement, which will add considerably to the value of property there¬ abouts, both for business and amusement purposes, and, then, the increased traffic and business resulting from the open¬ ing of the Pennsylvania Terminal will have a similar effect. In all probability the neighborhood of Greeley Square will become more popular as a situation both for hotels and theatres. In spite, consequently, of the huge prices which are being paid for real estate at Forty-second street and Broadway, it still looks as if Greeley rather than Times Square would constitute the bnsiness centre of the Middle District, /-> HAIRMAN WILLCOX has announced that the Public Ser- ^ vice Commission is about to lay out a new subway route, which will follow the line of Hudson street and Eighth avenue, and which will supply the East Side with additional means of communication. It is difficult to understand just what the Commission is driving at in planning such a route. Is it intended as a substitute for a Seventh ave¬ nue subway or a supplement thereto? But in either event one cannot understand why such a route should be laid out at the present time. If it is intended as a substitute for a Seventh avenue subway, the answer is that it is a very inferior substitute. The first lower West Side route should run as near to the central ridge of the Island as possible. The line of densest traffic is to the west of Sixth avenue and Broadway. A Seventh aveuue-Varick street subway would serve the retail shops on Sixth avenue south of Twenty-third street, and the wholesale district to the west of Broadway. Whereas a Hudson street-Eighth ave¬ nue subway would lie too far west to perform such ser¬ vices properly. Such a route, consequently, could not be substituted for a lower Seventh avenue subway with any advantage. On the other hand, if it were added to a Seventli avene subway it would simply establish a par¬ tial competitor for that line, before business had been de¬ veloped sufficiently to w-arrant competition. In all prob¬ ability the Interborough Company would refuse to build a Seventh avenne tunnel in case a competitive route were immediately to be built one block to the west. The time is undoubtedly fast approaching when the construction of a Hudson street-Eighth avenue-West Side subway will be justified: but such construction should not be commenced until after a Seventh avenue subway has been in operation for a long enough period to warrant accurate estimates as to the amount of traffic it will develop. The most plausible explanation of this announcement of the Rapid Transit Commission seems to he that the Seventh avenne subway is to be entirely side-tracked. It looks, at present, as if a plan was being hatched for subway development along the followihg lines: The Interborough Company will bid on the Lexington avenue-Broadway route, and in case it obtains the franchise, a connection will be arranged between Forty-second street and Broadway and Fourteenth street and Broadway. In case such a connection is made it would probably follow the line recently suggested by the property- owners' association of Twenty-third street. That is, it would probably run down Seventh avenue to the Pennsyl¬ vania Terminal and then turn east to Broadway; but it might avoid Seventh avenue entirely. Then- at a later date the