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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 101, no. 26 [2624]: [Articles]: June 29, 1918

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REAL ESTATE BUILDERS AND Vol. CI NEW YORK, JUNE 29, 1918 No. 26 Buy Down Town Property to Save Paying Rent More Sales East of Broadway Below City Hall in the Last Twenty Months Than in the Previous Twenty Years By CHARLES F. NOYES DOWNTOWN real estate has proved its worth. I can state positively that when a parcel in this lo¬ cality is properly selected it is the one best investment that can be made. This statement is made notwithstanding the fact that the real estate market has been and is handicapped by the absence of mortgage money for reasons perfectly well known by realty experts, and notwithstanding the ''knocks" real estate has received until recently by alleged fire prevention experts and various City and State authorities who tried to over-regulate and over- inspect it until it might be bled to death. Incidentally thanks are due to Thomas J. Drennan, our present Fire Commissioner, and Dr. William F. Doyle, the best Fire Prevention Chief in my time, for their efforts to correct this pernicious practice. There are persons who are offering gratuitous advice to possible investors to keep out of the real estate mar¬ ket at the present time and to invest their money in other securities. These people are usually unfortunate individuals who inherited or purchased over-capitalized buildings, erected during a boom, with an abnormally high rent roll and an equally abnormal mortgage as their only merit. They believed they had value when true underlying value did not exist, as might be indi¬ cated on the basis of reproduction, and they have been writhing, and twisting, and lamenting their fate be¬ cause a perfectly reasonable and just mortgagee has been asking payments on account of the abnormally high loan. There are five facts that will surprise the ordinary follower of the real estate market: First.—On the lower East Side more property has been sold during the past twenty months than during the previous twenty years. Second.—The buying has been largely for occupancy and for investment. Third,—Many sales have been on a strictly all-cash basis. Fourth.—Property in this section has never been more eagerly sought, either for rental or purchase. Fifth.—Rentals have increased, only a little space is available, and while a few years ago real estate was dor¬ mant, now it is in active demand at good prices, despite the adverse conditions referred to. Yes, more property has been sold on the lower East Side during the past twenty months than during the past twenty years, and this in a market where mort¬ gage loans are difficult or impossible to secure, and with the most adverse conditions due to local causes and aggravated by the world conflict. This fact alone is full of significance, and an analysis of the character of the very recent buying is interesting. The recent purchase of the 34,000 square foot plot taking in the block on Nassau street from Maiden lane to Liberty street, by the Federal Reserve Bank at over $3,000,000, with the certain additional value that the ultimate improvement will bring to the neighborhood; the purchase of the eight or ten buildings taking in the entire block on Maiden lane to Fletcher from Front to Water; and the erection of the new modern building by and for the New Jersey Zinc Co., is certain to help Maiden lane from Broadway to the East River and the contiguous property. Other purchases that can be referred to of great sig¬ nificance are the plot uf 27,000 sq. ft. of ground, 13-27 Broadway to the Cunard Line; the purchase of 35-39 Broadway, 11-15 Trinity place, a plot of over 17,000 sq. ft., and its improvement, by Gaston, Williams & Wig- more; the purchase of seven different buildings at 88-92 Pearl street and 54-60 Water street, by W. R. Grace & Co., for an extension of their big banking house; the securing of 72-74 Broadway and 9-11 New street by the Central Union Trust Co.; the purchase of the old "Del¬ monico Building," at Beaver and South William streets, by the Merchants Marine House; the recent securing of 103-105 William street by the Maryland Casualty Co. for its permanent home; the taking over of 71-75 Wall street by the American Cotton and Grain Exchange, and in the same neighborhood the purchase of ten or twelve buildings taking in the entire block front on South street, from Wall to Pine, with a plottage of over 22,000 sq. ft., by Frederic E. Gunnison for himself and associates, and the leasing in the same neighbor¬ hood of big office buildings to Amsinck & Co.; the American Molasses Co., the Pacific Development Co., and the purchase of 112 Wall street by Czarnikow Rionda Co. At 22-24 Pearl street, near the Battery, Furness Withy & Co., Ltd., secured a site for their business home, and only a month ago the Mexican Telegraph Co. took over the entire block on Broad street from South William to Stone, for immediate improvement, and Carl Platou purchased a large plot at 113-115 Broad street and 27 Front, to be largely occupied by his business. A very important transaction was the taking over by lease, with a contract to purchase, of the Fulton Mar¬ ket, a plot of 34,000 feet, taking in the entire block from South to Front and Fulton to Beekman. This was secured by W. Elsworth Sprague and Harry Trimm of Hunter & Trimm, two big fish houses, who arc now altering the property, a portion of which will be sub¬ leased. The Front street district has been very active and sales have been recorded as follows: 7-9 Front street to the Seaboard Trading Co.; 33 Front street to Ed¬ ward W. Burr; 46-48 Front street to J. J. Curtin, Inc.; 43-47 Front street to the Seamen's Church Institute;