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Real estate record and builders' guide: [v. 89, no. 2289]: January 27, 1912

Real Estate Record page image for page ldpd_7031148_049_00000245

Text version:

Please note: this text may be incomplete. For more information about this OCR, view About OCR text.
m^.^ ^p^^^ mm JANUARY 27, 1912 EFFECT ON REALTY OF THE NEW CIVIC CENTER. Despite the Undesirable Character of Much of the Adjacent Property the General Effect of the Proposed Improvement Will be Benefical. Now that the selection of a site for a new County Court House has become an accomplished fact, the effect which the plan will have upon adjacent real estate is a matter of great interest to brokers and professional operators. For years the selection of a site has been be¬ fore the public and at one time when a location on Union Square seemed liKely to be adopted, considerable buying in anticipation of future profits was in¬ dulged in. The fact City. On the eastern border are Baxter sufficiently attractive in the surroundings street, long notorious for the methods employed by its merchants in selling goods, the Italian colony on Mulberry street and the rookeries of Chinatown, the latter a wholly undesirable settle¬ ment, tolerated only because it seems un¬ avoidable; the Avhole forms a territory considered one of the least desirable in the entire City. Within the borders of the proposed site is the old Five Points, k that sevieral sites were under consider¬ ation and the uncer¬ tainty surrounding the final selection, were apparently suf¬ ficient to deter any considerable specula¬ tive buying: in this instance and the prospects are that the city for once will be able to obtain the site for a municipal improvement with¬ out having to pay more than a fair value for the land acquired. The prop¬ erty involved, it has been decided, will be obtained wherever possible, at private contract and the cost and delay attendant upon acquisition by c o n d e mnation be thereby obviated. About 100 parcels are to be taken over and within a few days the Court House Board will be ready to receive pro¬ posals for sale from owners, whose hold¬ ings are affected. It is generally con¬ ceded among real es¬ tate men that the establishment of a comprehensive muni¬ cipal center at the selected spot will have a foeneficia.l ef¬ fect on surrounding territory, but just how great the ad¬ vantage will be ap¬ pears to be some¬ what a matter of conjecture. The benefits to accrue froin the majority of large metropolitan improvements can generally be fore¬ seen, but the nature of the territory in¬ volved in this case is suuh as to create a wide divergence of opinion as to the degree and direction of the greatest im¬ provements. The territories bor¬ dering on the new Court House site are extremely diversi¬ fied in character and the streets so ir¬ regular and appa.r- entiy haphazard in .their lay out, as to confuse any but a careful student of the locality- On the north and west is a fairly substantial wholesale and manufacturing center, not highly improved, it is true, yet hous¬ ing a necessary and desirable class of distributors and producers. One block to the west is Broadway, a main artery of the City where land values are always high arid expensive buildings a common feature. Chambers street. Park Row and City Hall Park adjoin on the south, and the area embraced is one of the busiest and most important sections of the lower Ct^/Af/r^/it. cou/frs /^/^/?A'/rl /A" S 77 to draw any better class of tenants and there is no reason to think that the im¬ provements will have any tendency to drive the present inhabitants to seek other quarters. If the proposed plan of carrying City Hall Place through the block on the north to a junction with Park and Worth street is carried out, it is possible that either new-law tenements or mercantile buildings may be erected on the easterly side of this street. The permanent light af¬ forded by the park would be advantage- T0MB5 m-^ MULBERRY /-.£0///?/?D ST \ I 1 1 l/x 1—1 j ^—'------1 111 1 m I^OUiTFIItH. setose \NORT/^ ST THE CIVIC CENTER AREA AS IT NOW IS, SHOWING THE BUILDINGS TO BE DEMOLISHED. a quarter of a century ago one of the worst criminal districts in this or any city of the world. Of late years it has lost its vicious character and has come lo be occupied somewhat for business pur¬ poses; it will be entirely absorbed by the park surrounding the Court House, It is diiBcult to see how this area east of the site will be affected to any mate¬ rial degree, either in the way of increased land values or new buildings. It is main¬ ly an old-law tenement district occupied entirely by foreigners. There is nothing ous to either form o'f building. The recon¬ struction of Baxter street wiil hardly have any effect as the new park will be on the west of the extension and Mul¬ berry Bend Park, in its rearranged form on the other side. Pearl street is to a certain extent an im¬ portant artery of traffic and it may be that some of the fac¬ tory buildings now at the Five Points may locate here. Undoubtedly the greatest benefit from the Court House site will be derived by the owners of prop¬ erty on Lafayette street. This has always been a fairly import¬ ant north and south thoroughfare, vary¬ ing in width from 80 to 100 feet and form¬ ing a direct line of travel for traffic coming from the Brooklyn Bridge and the lower wholesale section to Astor place and the sur¬ rounding manufac¬ turing and jobbing district. The blocks between Reade ajid Leonard streets now possess only two or three buildings of any size and the per¬ manent light which the park will offer" must surely make these blocks ex¬ tremely desirable for a substantial class of heavily constructed Ioft and manufactur¬ ing buildings with retail stores on the ground floor. Stores in these blocks should rent well, as the number of people which must of neces¬ sity daily visit the Court House will furnish business for restaurants, lunch rooms, cigar and drug stores, station¬ ery shops and others handling necessities rather than luxuries. The market thus formed may also extend to Park Row at least between the Municipal Building and Worth street. Builders who have been interested heretofore in Lafayette street predict that the new structures will be from twelve to sixteen stories high. This statement is somewhat substantiated by the announcement that H. C. Hallenbeck, president of the Wynkoop-Hallenbeck- Crawford Co., who recently purchased the southwest eorner of Lafayette and White streets, running through on an "L" to