This section is from the book "Practical Real Estate Methods For Broker, Operator & Owner", by Thirty Experts. Also available from Amazon: Practical Real Estate Methods for Broker, Operator, Owner.
Now let us see what the shrewd investor could have foreseen - I mean one who did not hold his hand too close to his face, but looked into the future with faith in the country's growth and its lasting prosperity. If he were engaged in business below Fulton Street, the crowded conditions, and ever-increasing demands for space, owing to the multiplication of banks and trust companies and expansion of stock brokerage houses, and the establishment in New York of all the prominent railroad companies and industrial combinations, must have shown him the permanency of the financial district and its great prospective value.
The fact that the same amount of land would permit of the creation of three or four times the rentable floor space by erecting thereon an eighteen or twentyfour story building, instead of the old six-story ones, tripled and quadrupled the value of the land, especially parcels of 10,000 square feet and over, which supplied the growing demand for a larger space on the same floor which could be managed much more economically.
Retailers were locating where they could be reached, not only by their immediate neighbors, but by portions of the 'L' road in Sixth Avenue, and by ferry passengers from Jersey, etc., and this is what made Sixth Avenue from Fourteenth to Twenty-third Streets the leading retail center. Large concerns advertising heavily made surrounding property valuable. The west side of the avenues was preferred on account of walking afternoons in shade, and articles in windows not fading. For the same reasons the south side of lateral streets is liked.
A strange exception to this rule was when the Siegel Cooper Company went on the east side of Sixth Avenue; there being no important department store in the west side between Fourteenth and Eighteenth Streets, nearly all trade was transferred to the east side. The very daring and the largeness of the enterprise appealed to the people.