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Real estate record and builders' guide: [v. 93, no. 2404: Articles]: April 11, 1914

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AND NEW YORK, APRIL 11, 1914 :i;;s« ;!:SiiiS!ii:!i!iBiii!iiii !S'i i:!ii:iiiii!ii!«»sf i:;:a^ HsMHslliiiSii^^ ">■■■ GREENWICH VILLAGE INVESTORS' MECCA A Thousand Flats Wanted, to Rent from $20 to $50 a Month—Land Cheap and Investment Possibilities Large—Record and Guide Thanked in Resolutions BY DR. EDWIN ZIMMERMAN ■■lillllllllllliliililllilllW^ iiiaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitiitiiiMiiiiiaiiiMiiii WHEN the announcement was made that the new subway system was to be built through the Greenwich Vil¬ lage section, a new field for the specula¬ tive builder was immediately created, and the process of discounting the new transit improvement commenced. On some of the main thoroughfares new loft structures were erected and tenants were readily found, but this condition did not apply only to mercantile buildings. "The influx of new concerns into the section brought a large number of residents, and the apartment houses became well filled. There is hardly a house which has a va¬ cancy, and in fact in several of the real estate ofiices there is a waiting list !.f people who desire flats averaging about $50 a month. Probably the most important sign of the times, as applied to this section of old Manhattan, is the fact that the pro¬ fessional operator invaded the section to be traversed by the new subway line and bought many of the available cor¬ ners, at increasing prices. The parcels will be resold, in all probability to build¬ ers for improvement, as this class of speculator rarely improves for his own account, unless he has a prospective ten¬ ant in sight who is willing to lease the entire structure for a long term of years. Some investors have realized the resi¬ dential possibilities of the section as shown by the recent apartment house construction movement in the vicinity of Washington Square. Others are build¬ ing flats in the village itself, but the vol¬ ume of this type of construction is still so limited that it is apparent building investors are not yet fully aware of the changes that are taking place. Look back for thirty or forty years at this section of New York and then compare it with the Greenwich Village of to-day. In the former days the street layout was most inconsistent and caused much traffic confusion.. In the last few years marked progress has been made in straightening out this condition. True, many of the thoroughfares to-dav follow the cowpaths and trails laid out by the early settlers in the section, but counter¬ acting that is the one-hundred-foot wide swath the city is slashing through the very heart of its most populous district to create an arterial street providing di¬ rect and easy communication to every other part of the community. "Wanted, 1,000 Flats. Three hundred pieces of property were condemned by the city for the extension of Seventh avenue, a project which the committee has fought for consistently rnore than six years. During all that time the splendid support of the Record and Guide has been given, and its influ¬ ence lias done much in bringing about the present happy conclusion. Therefore, it was only fitting that at a meeting held on March 11 at the home of Harman Reher, at 276 West Eleventh street, at which I had the honor of presiding, a resolution of thanks should have been unanimously adopted and ordered sent to the Record and Guide for its valuable services. These three hundred buildings, which housed at least a thousand fam¬ ilies, are now being torn down. Where \ DR. EDWIN ZIMMERMAN. have these residents gone? They have been compelled to seek quarters in other sections of the city. They are trying to come back, and tlie appeal we make to building investors is not the appeal of mere speculative possibility, but of posi¬ tive knowledge that we need a thousand flats renting from $20 to $50. Not a Loft Building Centre. Our fight, now that' we have won the Seventh avenue extension and the four- track subway, was not with the purpose A RESOLUTION. By the Greenwich Village Public Service Committee. Whereas, The Greenwich Vil- ■ lage Public Service Committee has, with the aid of the people of Greenwich Village, been success¬ ful in obtaining from the City of New York the much needed exten¬ sion of Seventh avenue and a four-track subway, and Whereas, For eight years prior to this meeting (held on the elev¬ enth day of March, 1914, at the home of Herman Reher, 276 West llth street, in the City of New York, with Dr. Edwin Zimmer¬ man presiding), the Real Estate Record and Builders' Guide con¬ sistently aided us in the accom¬ plishment of our purpose; be it therefore Resolved, That we, the members of this Greenwich Villaee Public Service Committee, give public ex¬ pression of our thanks to the Rec¬ ord and Guide for its generous services; and that it be further Resolved, That our President be directed to have a copy of this resolution forwarded to the editor of the Record and Guide as an evi¬ dence of our gratitude. of making Greenwich Village a great loft building section, but rather a great resi¬ dential district. I appeal to those men with money to invest in flat and apart¬ ment houses to come to our rescue and build for us at least a thousand flats and apartments similar to those that are be¬ ing erected in Harlem and the Bronx. .\ll we ask is that you give us the same rent. Tell me what man, woman or child will hang on a subway car strap for an hour after a tiresome day in the store, shop or office when homes can be had within walking distance of their downtown places of business, or the wives can walk to good shopping dis¬ tricts? We shall maintain this district as a residential section for fifty years or more. West of Hudson street we have a natural loft building territory by reason of its proximity to the river front. There may be found abundant space for business buildings, but in Greenwich Village, east of Hudson, in the territory lying between 14th street, Houston, Sixth avenue and Hudson, we must preserve the true residential character. I say to those who will build these flats and apartments that we can fill them with a most desirable class of per¬ manent tenants. But we are not going to be a village of Micawbers, waiting for something to turn up. We are alive to the possibilities of this territory because we have lived here so long. For years the residents in the Green¬ wich Village section have been under a severe handicap in the matter of rapid transit. This is specially true during the morning rush hours, for by the time the trains on the elevated system reach the locality, all the seats are occupied and passengers are forced to stand. Of course, it must be considered that the time consumed in travel is only a few minutes, but still, when taken in the ag¬ gregate, this time amounts to considera- jjle at the end of a month. In the even¬ ing, however, the condition is somewhat reversed, and those boarding trains downtown stand an even chance with those residing in other sections of Man¬ hattan. When the new system is opened we look for a decided betterment in condi¬ tions and hope that the present conges¬ tion will be greatly relieved. The Greenwich Village section has been neglected so long, as far as improve¬ ments are concerned, that only those with unbounded faith were able to main¬ tain hope. When the Board of Esti- rnate and the Public Service Commis¬ sion finally came to a decision as to the Seventh Avenue route and work started, hope was renewed, and today we actually see the physical work in pro¬ gress. Houses are being demolished in several sections along the line and it should be onlv a comparatively short ' time before the remaining building ob¬ structions are removed and the actual digging commenced. The_ extension of Seventh aveni e in itself is a great boon. At the present time we are hemmed in, but soon we will have a main north and south artery, which should have the affect of increas¬ ing the population in the section.