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The Four Things Downtown Needs to Worry About

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Sure, Downtown has a lot going for it these days, what with the groundbreakings and streetcars, but it's not all sunshine and ponies. It didn't even have one neighborhood make it to the final four of the Curbed Cup this year! What else is going wrong? The Downtown News breaks it down:

Rents are high: Though lots more housing is on the way, residential occupancy rates in Downtown buildings is at 98 percent. Rents are projected to have risen 6 percent in each of the past two years and "Downtown apartment dwellers who haven't already gotten a rent increase should expect one as soon as their lease expires."

Crime rates might be going up: According to the Downtown News, violent crimes were up 5 percent while arrests were up 32 percent last year. It's unclear, though, how much of the spike is due to more crime and how much is due to a bigger police presence and more enforcement. "The arrest jump followed the department's transfer last April of some 40 additional officers to Central, many of whom walked foot beats."

Skid Row is still kinda dirty: The city's attempt to clean up Skid Row by seizing and destroying abandoned property was deemed illegal last year, so officials have had to come up with a new plan. It remains to be seen whether regular neighborhood cleanups, "along with monthly 'spot cleanings,' will be sufficient to remedy a litany of county health code violations identified in 2012." It also remains to be seen how the prefab Star Apartments do in the neighborhood once they're completed.

Some blighted properties aren't going anywhere: The DN mentions "a fire-damaged building at Fourth Street and Broadway, the long-abandoned Velvet Turtle restaurant in Chinatown, and the graffiti-scrawled Merritt Building at Eighth Street and Broadway," among other properties that are not credits to the neighborhood.
· As the Calendar Changes, Some Big Downtown Problems Persist [DN]