Detroit business and city leaders say they are encouraged by a continuing retail revival of the city’s main business corridor, but the outlook is less promising in other parts of the city where small businesses say escalating crime is pushing them out, reports the Associated Press. Optimism was on display this week during groundbreaking ceremonies for a Whole Foods Market in Midtown and a Meijer store on the former state fairgrounds, the most recent additions to a thin ribbon of vitality along Woodward Avenue.
The nine-mile stretch once known for prostitutes and boarded-up buildings now boasts a top sports and entertainment district and resurgent downtown office community along with Wayne State University, the Detroit Institute of the Arts and the Detroit Medical Center complex of hospitals in Midtown, where condos are sprouting up. The Woodward corridor also features something else coveted by many small businesses located apart from the main thoroughfare: people and police. Owners and managers of shops elsewhere in the city say too few police officers and an inability to stem citywide crime have placed the small business community in jeopardy. The killings of two store owners and shooting of a clothing shop worker have added to the worry.