THE QUEEN VICTORIA MARKETS.
For some time after the Queen Victoria Markets were opened it was held with some reason that a non-paying asset like this was something of a handicap on the ratepayers and the municipal finances. A capital outlay of £393,000 in the then existing state of the city funds meant a large sum of money. It is true that an ugly portion of the city's centre was beautified by the erection of a handsome building, but when finances are low ornament and city improve- ment are secondary considerations. When the premises were first let to tenants the low returns emphasised that view. Yet wherever shops in main thoroughfares and city arcades have been invested in by the municipal authority elsewhere this class of speculation, if it can be so called, has usually resulted successfully. Many people believed that the Queen Victoria Markets would do better than they did at the beginning, and to them, at all events, it will be satisfac- tory to learn from the information we gave yesterday that their trust has been to some extent borne out, and that the indications favour an even better result in the future. The rent value of the building, for instance, rose from £9350 in the first year to £14,118 in the socond. This sum xwas not quite suffi- cient to pay the interest on cost at 4 per cent, on £300,000 in London, and 3 1/2 per cent, on the remaining £100,000 raised in Sydney. But in the third your the rent value touched £15,636, and the present year's revenue promises to work out at about as much. Of course the expenses of management and sinking fund additions have to be added to the interest charge, but the debt balance is also decreasing. There is a good prospect of increased revenues and rentals us the leases fall in. These are en- couraging figures. Perhaps the Queen Victoria Markets may not prove such a bad
investment after all.