crown CU Home > Libraries Home
[x] Close window

Columbia University Libraries Digital Collections: The Real Estate Record

Use your browser's Print function to print these pages.

Real estate record and builders' guide: [v. 91, no. 2359]: May 31, 1913

Real Estate Record page image for page ldpd_7031148_051_00001317

Text version:

Please note: this text may be incomplete. For more information about this OCR, view About OCR text.
BUILDERS AND NEW YORK, MAY 31, 1913 WEST SIDE TERMINAL PLANS TO BE REVISED The New York Central's Rights and Title Not Made Clear--Property Owners Will Present Alternative Plans For Manhattanville Section. -'JiiKwiiiiiiiiiiiiiawiPMiaM^^^^^^^ rHE real estate interests oppused to the adoption of the plans for West Side terminals and trackage reforma¬ tion as now proposed by the Terminal Committee of the Board of Estimate, will have until June 24 to further study those plans and prepare modifications and alternatives less harmful to prop¬ erty values. In the meantime the chair¬ man of the Terminal Committee, Hon. John Purroy Mitchel, will have retired from the committee, by reason of having accepted appointment to the Collector- ship of the Port of New l ork, and Comptroller Prendergast and Borough President McAneny, the two "sparrow ha-wks," will be taking a more active part in the deliberations of the commit¬ tee than they have heretofore been able to do because of the draft on their time and attention required by the subway negotiations recently ended. claims from the Corporation Counsel's office, have an idea that the rights, fran¬ chises or licenses under which the rail¬ road company operates along the West Side are not perfectly valid, or, for that matter, satisfactory to the railroad cor¬ poration itself, and that the officers and directors can be made to yield a good deal more than they have been by Pres¬ ident Mitchel. Even Mr. Mitchel himself admitted at the hearing held at the City Hall on Tuesday afternoon that the necessity for laying out enormous freightyards along Riverside Drive at Manhattanville was regrettable, and the property owners said that if allowed time their consult¬ ing engineers could study the problem presented at Manhattanville and prepare a plan that -would be less destructive of values in the neighborhood. As a legal club to induce the railroad company to and extent of the rights of the railroad company to the lands it uses. Assistant Corporation Counsel Burr stated that the city of New i^ork owned the title to the streets in the yard of the railroad company between 60th and 70th streets; that it owned the title to Twelfth avenue north of 72d street embraced in the right of way of the company, and that in these streets and avenues the company had not obtained title by ad¬ verse possession, having solely an ease¬ ment to maintain its tracks there for railroad purposes, during its corporate existence. The City's Interest. -•\s to the lands under water between SSth street and Spuyten Duyvil Creek embraced in the railroad company's right of way, the city, through the an¬ cient charters and grants of land under PLAN FOR THE JIANHATTAN VILLE TERMINAL OP THE NEW YORK CE.NTRAL RAILROAD. I Mr. Mitchel is credited with the prin¬ cipal part of the conduct of the long and intricate negotiations with the railroad company and with the preparation of what is everywhere regarded as a mas¬ terly report, setting forth, as it does, the particulars of the treaty or agreement the committee was able to eflfect with the New York Central Railroad company. Mr. Mitchel succeeded in making the railroad engineers modify their plans for improvements along the West Side in many important particulars. He fought a good fight for the city and made as good a bargain as he believed could pos¬ sibly be made under the circumstances. Further Concessions Probable. But various powerful property inter¬ ests hold the opinion that he might have done better in several primal par¬ ticulars had he not approached the ne¬ gotiations under the belief that the rail¬ road company and not the city was the master of the situation north of SSth street. These property interests, not¬ withstanding an opinion adverse to their make further concessions, the counsel of the various property associations will de¬ mand the production of proof of rights and ownership and carry their case to court if necessary. "If they have a valid right to the use of the lands they oper¬ ate on, let them produce the evidence of it," said Charles L. Craig, counsel of the West End Association, after the meet¬ ing. President Mc.-^neny, and Comptroller Prendergast, just before the hearing ended, separately assured the big gath¬ ering of representatives of property in¬ terests that before any plans were adopted the rights of all concerned would be most carefully investigated. Counselor Burr's Opinion on the Own¬ ership Question. The principal business at the hearing, after it was agreed that further time should be allowed for a consideration of the report of the Terminal Committee, was the presentation of an opinion by Assistant Corporation Counsel Burr in answer to the question as to the nature water made to the people of the State of New York, became vested with the title to such lands; and the locating of the railroad company's lines upon lands then under water southerly from Spuy¬ ten Duyvil Creek, winding along the shore, was, so far as such location is concerned, authorized by Chapter 216 of the State laws of 1846, and the consent of the city granted May 6, 1S47, and was no more than an occupation under a li¬ cense for railroad purposes. Under this license the railroad com¬ pany located its route, built its railroad and operated at the present time; and such location, maintenance and opera¬ tion did not, Mr. Burr stated, initiate a possession thereof in the railroad com¬ pany adverse to the city. Legally in Oecupation. By the decision of the court in the recent action between the city and the railroad company the railroad company is legally in occupation of its right of way and is entitled to the use and oc¬ cupancy thereof during its corporate existence,