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Freddy C

Crime and Investment

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Will recent spats of violence in the City of Grand Rapids have an adverse impact on the ability of proposed condos to attract suburbanites into the city? In most cases, the perception of the threat of crime exceeds the actual threat of crime. If families and the city continue to have the misfortune of such violence through the summer, there is the risk of some people becoming disinterested into moving into the core into new condos and other developments aimed at making the CBD more vibrant.

I know how people hate to hear comparisons, but the perception of crime is one of the major factors that hurt investment into Detroit. How can people be persuaded to look at threats in its proper perspective as to not result in disinvestment?

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Will recent spats of violence in the City of Grand Rapids have an adverse impact on the ability of proposed condos to attract suburbanites into the city? In most cases, the perception of the threat of crime exceeds the actual threat of crime. If families and the city continue to have the misfortune of such violence through the summer, there is the risk of some people becoming disinterested into moving into the core into new condos and other developments aimed at making the CBD more vibrant. 

I know how people hate to hear comparisons, but the perception of crime is one of the major factors that hurt investment into Detroit. How can people be persuaded to look at threats in its proper perspective as to not result in disinvestment?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I have only become genuinely interested in the prosperity of Grand Rapids as of recently. Are these recent 'spats' any worse than previous years, or is it business as usual for a large city. Like I said, I've never really payed attention before. Can anyone give me numbers or comparisons?

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"Will recent spats of violence in the City of Grand Rapids have an adverse impact on the ability of proposed condos to attract suburbanites into the city? "

No, this is just WoodTV, The Press, WZZM, and WXMI agencies over sensatioanlizing events that happen this week. Its been two days since the incident down the road from me, (the one where the inocent family man was shot in the head for no reason.) and every news outlet will milk it for all its worth. Grand Rapids, I think, has average crime rate.

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"Will recent spats of violence in the City of Grand Rapids have an adverse impact on the ability of proposed condos to attract suburbanites into the city? "

No, this is just WoodTV, The Press, WZZM, and WXMI agencies over sensatioanlizing events that happen this week. Its been two days since the incident down the road from me, (the one where the inocent family man was shot in the head for no reason.) and every news outlet will milk it for all its worth. Grand Rapids, I think, has average crime rate.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

But that is the way it always is. The News sells via sensationalizing...If it bleeds it leads. As far as crime in GR, I think the nature is changing. Domestic violence used to be a much larger component of murders in the city. However, the violence culture is changing as it is less domestic and more conflict between rival youth and young adults who fire multiple rounds often with irregards to innocent bystanders on the streets or in houses. The type of weapons being used are also different.

There are indeed people who will not frequent downtowns when they hear such events. That happens all over America.

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I think they sensationalize as well. In 2003 we had 11 homicides, I think (but can't be sure) that there were around 15 last year. I don't think this will have much of an impact on condo sales downtown. There isn't a lot of violent crime in downtown proper and the surrounding neighborhoods (Heritage Hill, East Hills, Midtown, Cherry Hill, etc) seem to be doing pretty well.

Joe

"Will recent spats of violence in the City of Grand Rapids have an adverse impact on the ability of proposed condos to attract suburbanites into the city? "

No, this is just WoodTV, The Press, WZZM, and WXMI agencies over sensatioanlizing events that happen this week. Its been two days since the incident down the road from me, (the one where the inocent family man was shot in the head for no reason.) and every news outlet will milk it for all its worth. Grand Rapids, I think, has average crime rate.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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While I think the downtown Macker was just asking for fights as I've seen 3-4 my self just on the courts, I think cancelling them due to shootings outside of downtown itself is just rediculous. WoodTV.com makes it seem like that's the reason they're cancelling the tourny. Who knows if that's actually the case.

The GRPS stands to loose about 80-100k in funding from the cancellation. If anyone wants to make a donation, here's the spot:

GRPS Macker Fund

Huntington Bank

1850 44th Street SW

Wyoming, MI 49519

Maybe LighthouseDave can shed more light, but I'm pretty sure this is the last thing our public schools needs.

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WOOD-TV is definitely playing this up. Maybe the police had some insider information about what was going to go down at the tournament, who knows. But I remember (was it last year) WOOD talking about the brawl that occured at the tournament. They acted as if there was some kind of large scale brawl. When it came down to it, it was a 5-10 bad apples who got in a fight. I remember witnessing fights like this in junior high. Not really what I would consider the Great Riots of 2004. ;)

Joe

While I think the downtown Macker was just asking for fights as I've seen 3-4 my self just on the courts, I think cancelling them due to shootings outside of downtown itself is just rediculous.  WoodTV.com makes it seem like that's the reason they're cancelling the tourny.  Who knows if that's actually the case.

The GRPS stands to loose about 80-100k in funding from the cancellation.  If anyone wants to make a donation, here's the spot:

GRPS Macker Fund

Huntington Bank

1850 44th Street SW

Wyoming, MI 49519

Maybe LighthouseDave can shed more light, but I'm pretty sure this is the last thing our public schools needs.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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While I think the downtown Macker was just asking for fights as I've seen 3-4 my self just on the courts, I think cancelling them due to shootings outside of downtown itself is just rediculous.  WoodTV.com makes it seem like that's the reason they're cancelling the tourny.  Who knows if that's actually the case.

The GRPS stands to loose about 80-100k in funding from the cancellation.  If anyone wants to make a donation, here's the spot:

GRPS Macker Fund

Huntington Bank

1850 44th Street SW

Wyoming, MI 49519

Maybe LighthouseDave can shed more light, but I'm pretty sure this is the last thing our public schools needs.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The Gus Macker Cancellation is a perfect example of what I am talking about in regards to the effects of the perception of crime. These recent episodes of violence were not downtown, but they affected an event scheduled for downtown.

People realize that the inner-city is in walking distance to downtown and the perception is that crime and violence is closer to them DT than in Lowell, Forrest Hills or Jenison. There are a lot of paranoid people who can change their mind from just a few incidents.

I do think that there is a link between the perception of crime and patronage of an area. In many places, inner city and downtown are almost synonymous because you cannot be more inner-city than downtown.

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But, like Joe said, maybe the police know something we don't.  My guess is no one will ever know when it comes to this one...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yes, the police know that the Gus Macker will attract a lot of people from the inner city, especially since the venue is so close to the neighborhoods. Certainly you will have a lot of street rivals at such an event and if they are armed, you have the potential for violence that harms innocent bystanders.

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While I think the downtown Macker was just asking for fights as I've seen 3-4 my self just on the courts, I think cancelling them due to shootings outside of downtown itself is just rediculous.  WoodTV.com makes it seem like that's the reason they're cancelling the tourny.  Who knows if that's actually the case.

The GRPS stands to loose about 80-100k in funding from the cancellation.  If anyone wants to make a donation, here's the spot:

GRPS Macker Fund

Huntington Bank

1850 44th Street SW

Wyoming, MI 49519

Maybe LighthouseDave can shed more light, but I'm pretty sure this is the last thing our public schools needs.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Here at GRPS we are almost constantly in a damned if you do and damned if you don't mode. The bad publicity which we experienced two years ago was definitly a case of a cameraman being in the right place at the right time and about 5-10 bad apples.

In regard to canceling the Macker, there are some very concrete reasons why it was canceled. The school system here is simply a microcosum of what is happening in the neighborhoods. With each of the three shootings that have occured in the past 4 days, there has been a fall out in our schools. However, I need to be really clear here. The fall out is usually a fight or an argument, or an unsubstantiated rumor of a weapon being brought to school. When stuff like this happens in the streets, it causes undue anxiety in the schools. I believe that much of this anxiety is due to the media frenzy happening over the violence.

Let me point out something very interesting about how the media is handling this violence. Have you been reading about the shooting that happened on Alto two days ago? How has the media handled this? All of the coverage, both by the press and the tv add that the shooting happened right across from Oakdale Christian Elementary School. One of the articles shows two little white kids standing by their school looking out curiously at the house where the shooting occured. Sad isn't it (I say with a sarcastic tone). What none of the media has said about the shooting on Alto is that it happens to also be right next to Alexander Elementary. So what gives? Is it a tragedy that the poor little white kids who attend the Christian School have to be subjected to this type of violence, but the poor little black kids that attend Alexander don't?

The question being posed in this thread is, will all this violence cause a drop off in demand for the new condos being proposed? I do not think that it will because Grand Rapids is very good at keeping poverty, crime, and even race in pockets. You can go literally from one block to another and move in people's minds from a "bad" neighborhood to a "good" neighborhood. In the Martin Luther King Park area there is literally a $20,000 difference in home vaules when one moves from Benjamin east or west. There is another $20,000 drop in value when one moves West of Fuller on the same street. In fact there is a notciable differnece in appraised value depending on if one is on the East Side of West side of Fuller...the same street!

All of this if fueled by what I consider to be biased media coverage that perpetuates racism and stereotypes. GRPS, Macker cancelation, schools of choice, neighborhoods of choice...the media...it is all connected.

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The Gus Macker Cancellation is a perfect example of what I am talking about in regards to the effects of the perception of crime. These recent episodes of violence were not downtown, but they affected an event scheduled for downtown.

There has been a lot of chatter.

Also considering what happened last year (or a few back) it should have been shut down then. Sorry, but if people can not come together and act like adults (even if they are young) they should not bother at all. Sadly, it only takes a few to ruin it for everyone. However, the riot last year proved that as soon as a few get involved it is hard to keep everyone out of their business.

Not to mention 75% of the people in the Macker downtown hate the police - I would not have felt comfortable if I was Dolan sending my police out there.

About crime. Actually, Grand Rapids has a pretty good crime rate for being a central city for a region of its size. However, these recent events do suggest that there is something more going on. I doubt recent attacks on police by black city leaders have helped anything at all. So now we have a violent charged atmosphere and city leaders telling people that the cops are bad.

I can see bad things coming from all of this. Hopefully this little spurt is just that. If not, I believe that as a community we will really need to do some sould searching. City leaders will also really have to learn how to control their hatred and conduct business the way it should be done - not through threats.

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Grand Rapids' crime statistics are as follows:

(2002 New Crime Data)

Murders: 8 (4 per 100K) Nationnal Avg: 5.6 per 100K

Forceable Rapes: 75 (37.5 per 100K) Nat Avg: 33 per 100K

Robberies: 508 (254 per 100K) Nat Avg: 145.9 per 100K

Aggravated Assaults: 1588 (793.88 per 100K) Nat Avg: 310.1 per 100K

Burglaries: 2309 (1154.33 per 100K) Nat Avg: 746.2 per 100K

Larceny/Thefts: 6124 (3061.56 per 100K) Nat Avg: 2445.8 per 100K

Motor Vehicle Thefts: 680 (339.95 per 100K) Nat Avg: 432.1 per 100K

Arsons: 99 (49.49 per 100K) Nat Avg: N/A

Source: http://grandrapids.areaconnect.com/crime1.htm

We are a little bit above average in the crime department, but not horrifically so. This was also 2002, when most cities had a big spike in crime.

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However, the riot last year proved that as soon as a few get involved it is hard to keep everyone out of their business.

Not to mention 75% of the people in the Macker downtown hate the police - I would not have felt comfortable if I was Dolan sending my police out there.

About crime. 

City leaders will also really have to learn how to control their hatred and conduct business the way it should be done - not through threats.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Define riot. In my opinion what happened two years ago was not a riot. There were about 5 people fighting and about 50 people standing around watching. The media made WAY more of this than it merited.

How can you say that 75% of the people in the Macker Downtown hate the police? What are you trying to say here, do you mean that African Americans hate the police?

Which City leaders need to learn to control their hate? Which City leader has given threats?

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Sorry, but the 75% is a number too far out. superNOVA would you please like the rest of use use citations when referring to "facts." I am assuming you mean people in general and not African-Americans, and this is a percentage you picked based on your perception.

If this become a Black issue, I can surely say it isn't. I know quite a few African-American folks who want the police in the city, they encourage police presence, not hate them... Example: when the police department put that mobile unit on the SE side, the community, as I remember reacted in joy, because crime dropped substantially in the area. I think if the Police department wasn't centralised and they had neighborhood precints, this would get the community involved with the police. More interaction and understanding with the department will only imporve things.

Media hype -

My girlfriend works at WLNS TV in Lansing and shes always talking about how the news MUST over dramatize stuff to fill the hours they broadcast. This tactic isn't merely to sell or attract a new market, it's to also fill up time slots. Basically the news is a constant weather report every 2-4 minutes then you fill in the slots with hype on whats going on in the city. (ex: WOOD TV) Thats why I watch WZZM 13, at least they have some variety. Oh and I like the talk show Take 5, I bet the Committee could get on their to raise support for future projects, WZZM is always looking for new ideas to showcase on that time slot.

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I think lighthouse makes some excellent points. I have another point to consider in regards to the vitality and growth of the CBD. I think that as long as the CBD is not seen as having offerings that are attractive to inner-city residents, that suburbanites will patronize it more. When the downtown becomes attractive to inner-city residents, they will frequent it more often and problems of the inner city will spill into the CBD.

I can remember in the 80

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