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Downtown Condo Buyers to Solve Crime Problems?

Once in a while, you have to wonder why someone would be so excited to buy one of the many $500,000+ condos that are soon to spread over downtown like a tsunami. It certainly isn’t for a secure, friendly neighborhood environment…

Sgt. Rich O’Neill, Seattle Police Officers’ Guild president, said officers aggressively policing the drug problem in Belltown and downtown might pull back after seeing other officers’ reputations tarnished.”Drug dealers must be laughing all the way to their next sell,” he said.

Below Greenwald’s apartment on Third Avenue, one police officer epitomized the blown morale some residents worried about. He said he became less aggressive, and so did other cops, long before the current controversy.

“You get what you ask for,” he said bitterly as he watched suspected drug dealers and others hanging out on the corners around Third and Pine. “It used to be that when you saw these thugs on the corners, we’d move them along.”

But the officer, who wouldn’t give his name out of concern for his job, said he personally wouldn’t risk being accused of misconduct, unless he has to.

“If I do something, I can get in trouble. But if I don’t do anything, I won’t get in trouble,” he said.

Even in broad daylight, drug dealers appeared to be dealing, passing cash to one another. “You see, they know we’re not going to do anything,” the officer said.

It just sounds so delightful, doesn’t it? Somehow I doubt that “desirable neighborhood” is one of the bullet points on the sales materials. Perhaps the people that will buy these pimped-out apartments are expected to be agoraphobics who rarely venture outside their posh pads.

Also possible is this explanation from the article (emphasis mine):

Steve Aprill [a physician who lives on Third Avenue between Pike and Pine streets] said the “straw that broke the camel’s back” came about 12:30 a.m. one night last month when his 37-year-old son, who was visiting from Los Angeles, was attacked by what one witness estimated to be 20 people while he walked home alone.

“They kept kicking him in the head,” said Elaine Aprill. “Hopefully, someone in one of the luxury condos is going to have the pull to get something done about this.”

I pity the people currently living downtown that have to deal with this every day. I have to say though, that’s some interesting logic. Good luck finding that wealthy, influential condo buyer naïve enough to jump headfirst into a neighborhood with those kind of problems.

On the other hand… if they’re naïve enough to spend $500,000 or more on a condo in downtown Seattle in the first place…

(Kery Murakami & Hector Castro, Seattle P-I, 07.11.2007)

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About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.

75 comments:

  1. 1
    deejayoh says:

    Ah yes. Livin’ large in good old area 701

    Let’s check some stats
    Condo inventory 6/30/06: 126 units
    Condo inventory Today: 339 units
    Percentage change: +242%

    Number of 701 Condos priced >$1mm: 61
    Percent of 701 Condos >$1mm: 18%
    Percent of SFH in Seattle > $1mm: 13%

    They must be dealing those drugs to the builders and buyers of these things, because I think you’d have to be smoking crack to invest in one of them today.

  2. 2
    Peckhammer says:

    Drugs are the least of your worries downtown. Watch out for those stray bullets.

    If I lived in a Belltown condo, I’d just characterize all the nefarious activity as “dinner theater.” That’s gotta be worth $500K.

  3. 3
    G.G. says:

    I think the Batman would prefer a McMansion in Medina.

  4. 4
    SeattleHotty says:

    You have to choose your neighborhood carefully, just like anywhere else. I would never live in Belltown, but love my condo on First Hill. I live right next to a park, never see any crime, and feel safe walking home. The real question is why the drug dealers are finding so many customers for their product in Belltown. They aren’t drawn there for no reason.

  5. 5
    Nateboy says:

    great observation

  6. 6
    Finance says:

    Our condo building chose to install more cameras outside and inside to prevent unauthorized activity…and has worked wonders on First Hill/Downtown (98101)!

    I did startle a drug dealer once when jogging near Harborview as I came around the corner once…he started to reach into his pocket, yet never made eye contact (as a way of saying I never saw you). He calmed down once I passed by.

  7. 7
    Robert says:

    The problem is with affordable housing in the form of housing assistance provided to unsavory individuals by the Seattle Housing Authority. The Seattle Housing Authority is not properly screening applicants seeking to live in downtown Seattle. They flock to apartments like the Gilmore and others where they can sell drugs on Third avenue and then quickly retreat to their locked front apartment door. Apartment owners like the Housing Resources Group and others need to perform proper screening as well to weed out the criminal element. They can build any many condos as they want downtown and as long as the Seattle city government is paying to house people with violent criminal backgrounds the problem is not likely to go away even with stepped up police patrols.

  8. 8
    deejayoh says:

    Comparing crime in Belltown to First Hill is like comparing apples to um, slightly smaller apples. Both are among the highest crime areas in the city.

    Check it out. The city provides all the data. Find your neigborhood on the map and then check the stats for last year

    Eyeballing it, I’d call Belltown area 80 (1497 crimes) and First Hill 84 (817 crimes in an area half the size).

    Not trying to talk down First Hill, but in general, MLS area 701 has the highest crime rate in the city, and differences between the neighborhoods within are more shades of grey than black and white.

  9. 9
    Joel says:

    Drug dealers around $500,000 condos huh? Well I guess you gotta make the mortgage payments somehow . . .

  10. 10
    AndyMiami says:

    How many new condos are expected to come to the market this year, 2008, 2009, and 2010? Also, how many condo conversions for the same time period. How do these numbers compare to the existing inventory for sale.

    I moved here from Miami. Two years ago, total single family and condo inventory was less than 40,000. Today it is 110,000 and there are 55,000 new units coming on this and next year. I am sure Seattle will not be as severe, but let me tell you, all those cranes and beautiful people billboards advertising the new builds surely reminds me of Miami two/three years ago. Even the Saturday newspapers remind me of the Miami theology that prices will never come down because Miami is a wonderful playground for the rich from all over the world. Guess what, prices in Miami are just, just beginning to collapse. Seattle may not be Miami, but everyone will be affected by this cycle…everyone.

  11. 11
    Eleua says:

    I did startle a drug dealer once when jogging near Harborview as I came around the corner once…he started to reach into his pocket, yet never made eye contact (as a way of saying I never saw you). He calmed down once I passed by.

    Nice. I know many of you like urban living, but not for me.

  12. 12
    MisterBubble says:

    I did startle a drug dealer once when jogging near Harborview as I came around the corner once…he started to reach into his pocket, yet never made eye contact (as a way of saying I never saw you). He calmed down once I passed by.

    Pshaw. You have a vivid imagination.

    I’ve seen my share of drug dealers. Trust me — unless you were running from the cops, they don’t give a flying f**k about you.

  13. 13
    mike2 says:

    The moral of the story is nancy boys from LA can’t survive on the mean streets of Seattle.

    This is exactly what we need to build up some cred for our budding rap industry. Start thinking of random beatdowns as an investment in our cities future economic diversity.

  14. 14
    Eleua says:

    But the officer, who wouldn’t give his name out of concern for his job, said he personally wouldn’t risk being accused of misconduct, unless he has to.

    “If I do something, I can get in trouble. But if I don’t do anything, I won’t get in trouble,” he said.

    Even in broad daylight, drug dealers appeared to be dealing, passing cash to one another. “You see, they know we’re not going to do anything,” the officer said.

    Why even bother having a police department?

    My guess is they are still stinging from the Mardi Gras beatings.

  15. 15
    CCG says:

    Once I was up on First Hill (a nice area from what I’ve seen) and a kid ran by me, followed by an obese security guard, puffing and red-faced, pedaling furiously on a tiny bicycle. I felt sorry for the bicycle. The kid almost outran him but was weighed down by his backpack which presumably contained the stolen goods, so he was soon cuffed and dragged away. After I could stop laughing I heaved a sigh of relief to see another dangerous character apprehended.

  16. 16
    Finance says:

    Mr. Bubble – Sorry I didnt write out the whole incident with the drug dealer. I scard the crap out of him as I jogged around the corner and yelled something like “I will F you up man”. I just kept on going but could visibly tell I significantly startled him…

  17. 17
    Peckhammer says:

    “I scard the crap out of him as I jogged around the corner and yelled something like ‘I will F you up man’.”

    You threatened him? He probably feared he would be killed or seriously injured by you. I’d have been reaching into my pocket too.

  18. 18
    redmondjp says:

    mike2 said: The moral of the story is nancy boys from LA can’t survive on the mean streets of Seattle.

    I know you’re kidding, but I drove around in Downtown LA a few weeks ago, just to see what it is like with my own eyes. After seeing the east part of downtown, where there is a transient person every 5-6 feet apart on streets/sidewalks in every direction for blocks, with many police cars noted, there is no place in Seattle that I wouldn’t walk around in (during the daytime, anyways).

  19. 19
    EconE says:

    Bunch of friggin whiners. How the hell is Seattle gonna become the “world class” city that it purports itself to be without the rif-raf that comes with it.

    Too bad that they all thought that if you throw a Whole Foods, Starbucks, a bunch of useless “boutique” shops and a “trolley” that it would be just like living on Rodeo Drive.

    I think that they spent too much time watching ‘Friends’ and ‘90210’.

    oh…and Finance…do you usually yell “I will F you up man” when you turn corners while jogging? You now…much like people might honk their horns coming around blind curves on a windy mountain road?

  20. 20
    Dan C. says:

    Since the closure of the bus tunnel, Third avenue from Union to Bell has become a complete s*ithole. Seattle police need to do a street sweep (a la Giuliani did in Times Square) and clean everyone out.

    Whether or not there is luxury condos, it would make it a much nicer place to walk. What about that park in Pike Place market? Same story…

  21. 21
    Matthew says:

    People act like Belltown is like downtown Baltimore, East St Louis, Compton or New Orleans. I live in Belltown, and I’ve worked in law enforcement for a number of years, and it’s not that bad.

    Yes there are crack dealers and homeless people in the area. Guess what people? It’s a major metro area. If you don’t want noise and crime, move to the burbs. I walk to and from work everyday and have yet to be hassled by anyone other than for some spare change.

    Walk quickly, don’t look people in the eyes and mind your own business. Some Seattle residents have absolutely no street saavy.

    I will second the point that SPD really has done very little in the area though. LAPD wouldn’t and doesn’t put up with the same amount of crap that SPD forces its officers to. It’s all about being in a kinder, gentler society out here.

  22. 22
    Matthew says:

    Finance,

    Why in the eff are you shouting “i’m going to eff you up man!” to a crack dealer on the street? Are you trying to get shot? You probably just startled the guy coming around the corner. Once he realized you were out for a jog he most likely wouldn’t have done anything. Yelling something like that at him will get you killed.

    This isn’t WAZZU and some frat party Finance. You should seriously check that meathead attitude at the door. It only takes one finger to pull a trigger and “bye bye Finance”.

    I walk to and from work everyday with a badge and a loaded gun and lord knows I don’t even say anything to anyone on the streets. The best policy is to STFU, move along, and don’t make eye contact. Trust me. No matter how bad ass you think you are, or how intimidating you think you look, the gun is the almighty equalizer.

  23. 23
    B says:

    Um… I’m thinking that Finance made a typo, and that the startled druggie was the one who yelled out (and yelled = and he yelled?)…. That would seem to be the more sensible interpretation of that paragraph.

    Am I the only one who can try to apply context to this sort of thing? Finance, correct your post or these knuckleheads are going to continue going down the rat-hole in confusion.

    Regarding “urban living”, I agree that a lot of residents are probably going to have to learn a little bit of street smarts when they move into their $500k shoebox that Suzanne sold them… but on the other hand, from some of the clueless goofball transplants and eastside tourists I’ve seen around here, they could use it. On the whole, it might be a good thing. :)

    On the other hand, probably a lot of the ‘owners’ of these places are just going to have to turn around and rent ’em out at a loss anyway, and won’t actually be the ones living there. Good luck, chumps! Check out that inventory spike…

  24. 24
    B says:

    “On the other hand” x 3 above … I guess I have a lot of arms :)

  25. 25
    Old Ballard says:

    First,

    “The problem is with affordable housing in the form of housing assistance provided to unsavory individuals by the Seattle Housing Authority.”

    Fuck you Robert.

    Not everone, like you, of course, are perfect, some people don’t have momy and daddy to wipe their ass. Believe it, some people actually, at no fault of their own, need help, and guess what, not all poor people deal drugs. Your a real son of a bitch. If it were left up to people like you we’d have two Seattles. One for you and your ass wipping parents and one for everyone else.

    Second, is there anyone besides AndyMiami who can make a constructive point.

  26. 26
    pegasus says:

    The most constructive advice I have for those that would buy a condo in the areas being discussed is before buying the condo buy a handgun and know how to use it. Get a permit and training. It works and saves lives- yours or some other victim’s life.

  27. 27
    Old Ballard says:

    I don’t read a lot of constructive ideas on this blog. Something every dangerous to our society is about to happen if there is not a correction soon. Whole classes of real people will be cut out of the ultimate dream. That of owning a home. Owning a home is not about “options,” “leverage,” or “profit.” It’s about independence, sovereigns, self-determination. It’s about not being afraid of the landlord screwing you and taking everything away. It’s about not having to start all over every time the rent goes up. A civilized society needs everyone to do their job. A civilized society needs the janitor to do his job. What happens when the janitor gives up hope because he’s been cut out forever? What happens when the maintenance man gives up hope? When income cuts out people of participating is a societal dream what happens. Do we just import brown people from Mexico because we can send them back if they step out of line.

    We need ideas. What could we do to bring housing down?

  28. 28
    Peckhammer says:

    “On the other hand, probably a lot of the ‘owners’ of these places are just going to have to turn around and rent ‘em out at a loss anyway”

    Oh, I don’t know if that’s true. Check this entrepreneurial owner’s business plan at 2200: http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p164416

  29. 29
    Old Ballard says:

    Look Peckhammer the P/E of any property must at the every least meet the monthly payments just to brake even. That means a vacation condo must be booked for 365 days a year at the same rate as a 500,000 mortgage. To make a profit of 10% the rate must be 10% over the mortgage cost. Prime 6.75 goes up, say, 8.0. What happens if booking on that vacation condo are short just 30 days year? Just how many vacation condos do you think (if you can) the “market” can support?

  30. 30
    Matthew says:

    Old Ballard,

    We need to do nothing. Just sit and wait, the market will correct itself. Any sort of interference will only make it worse. Just relax and watch it implode from the sidelines.

  31. 31
    Matthew says:

    Old Ballard,

    If you don’t like the people that post here, and don’t find any of our comments constructive, then why are you wasting your time here? Go ahead and leave, the door is wide open buddy.

  32. 32
    B says:

    Peckhammer:

    That’s some funny sh*t. Awesome find!

  33. 33
    finance says:

    Peckhammer & Matthew – sorry guys I didnt clarify my last statment. I was just jogging around the corner and he stumbled around the corner (both passed eachother at the sidewalk intersection). The drug dealer yelled about F’ing me up as I passed him (I did not make any actual eye contact with him or say a word).

    B – Thanks for clarifying my statment…I only gotten 4.5 hours of sleep each of the past two nights (Im doing the job of 3 people at work and the hot nights make it hard to sleep). Darn, its midnight…I will start making logical posts again

  34. 34
    Pgniss McGee says:

    There are two things that have gotten real old in our society. A. cops acting the martyr just because the public tries to weed out the very few violent psycopaths that do take the gun and badge and play out their own violent dominance fantasies. Wow, you accuse a nutbag cop of unjustified force, and the rest aren’t gonna do their jobs?
    OK, well, I guess you dont really believe in being cops,
    because cops I know would prefer to keep their reputation clean instead of protecting criminal police.

    B. I live in Belltown, and dealers are way more a problem than the police, for sure. Maybe if the city wouldnt enforce these ridiculous statutes which allow druguser tenants, like those in my building, to flagrantly ignore the rules because you have to show tangible and repeated ‘proof’ that someone is a violator. This is the fault of the city liberalswho endlessly defend the poor drug abuser, while they commute out to areas where these people are instantly carted off.

    Somewhere there has to be a common sense compromise, where the police get the respect they deserve, and the city stops sucking up to overpaid
    lawyers, and the main criminals downtown, the
    unrestricted alcohol dealers, which some on the city
    council seem to want to defend. People could probably
    tolerate the drug dealers, if someone got a handle on
    the thousands of alcoholics that descend on Belltown
    nightly.

  35. 35

    The guy who mentions the low income housing is unfortunately dead on, because eviction is very difficult by law in those places.

    Whoever thinks LA is nicer than Seattle is out of their minds. LA is a place you dont even want to walk, and there are SO many more gang bangers and drive-by deaths are a daily occurence, even if it is down from the 2-3 DEATHS that used to take place daily in 1986-1996.

    Belltown is a nonstop party, and easily covered by walking, so it has its attractions. I hear about far more
    shootings outside clubs, yes, rap and R&B clubs than around dealers. Dealers slink about and want to be left alone. Its the drunks who get all aggressive. Oh yeah. I don’t see how all these drugs get distributed throughout the city without major kickbacks going to the police and politicians. Think about it. I’ve pointed out deals to cops, and they just ride on by. They’d rather bust a party.

    And yeah, a condo is a suckers game depending on
    the building. The ones around the market are a safe bet.
    The ones on Denny are in the worst location.

  36. 36
    Matthew says:

    Pgniss,

    I am with you 100 percent. The problem is not the police, the problem is that SPD has their hands tied. In the land of hippies and idealism, no one wants aggressive law enforcement. The funny thing, is that then people want to bitch and complain at how nothing gets done. People want to have their cake and eat it too.

  37. 37
    BelltownDad says:

    What a load of crap. I have lived in Belltown for over 5 years with my wife. We recently had a baby and he is now 7 months old. We walk the streets of Belltown daily without any problems. We have gone to dinner with the stroller and waked home at 11 or 12 at night without anyone hassling us. Yes there are bums and pushers, but this is a BIG city. There are bums and pushers in Paris, Milan, NYC, etc etc. I have physician friends who have worked in ERs in Chicago, Detroit and now here and they state the number of violent wounds (gunshot, stabbings) that they see here is not even 1/100th of what they have encounterd in other metropolitan areas.

    There is no question that these mushrooming condos are overpriced but please tone down on the belltown bashing.

  38. 38
    Queen Anne Condo says:

    Sit around and do nothing and the market will correct itself — o.k., wait till that correction means the middle classes will no longer be able to afford ownership of property and they all become renters. Wait till the market corrects itself raising the wages of third-world workers, lowering the wages and lifesyles of the first world. We’ve had it so good here since WW II. But we all are going to have to grow up and join the rest of the world with less opulent lifestyles. The markets will make corrections and that will mean goodbye to large homes, monster SUVs and being the top dog …

  39. 39
    Peckhammer says:

    BelltownDad said:

    “What a load of crap. I have lived in Belltown for over 5 years with my wife. We recently had a baby and he is now 7 months old. We walk the streets of Belltown daily without any problems.”

    I think I’ve seen you! You’ve got sunglasses and a long white cane!

    You know, I’ve been driving for more than 30 years and I’ve never been in a car accident. That doesn’t mean that the roads are safe. It is sad when people are delusional about the threat level in Belltown. The only place I can think of that is less safe in the downtown area is Pioneer Square.

    I never venture into either area without multiple forms of deadly force at my disposal, and if I can avoid those areas altogether, I do. When I was trained in the use of deadly force by former US Army Rangers, they specifically identified these areas as places to never walk alone, and to avoid after dark. But hey, the psychological benefits of denying obvious dangers is “feel good therapy” for those that actually paid money to live in the maelstrom that is Belltown. Sure, there are more dangerous places on earth, and I still venture into some of them. I just don’t stroll around with a helpless infant and deny the threat.

    Remember this from earlier this month, as reported in the Seattle Times: “Violent crime has sharply increased in Belltown in the past two years after a steady decline, crime statistics show.

    Early Monday morning, Lo was watching TV and his girlfriend was at her desk near the window when they heard a burst of gunfire, followed by screams outside and the sound of their window shattering.

    Lo called 911 and then opened his front door to see a young woman on the pavement, screaming “My leg! My leg!” It was at that point, Lo said, that his girlfriend insisted they move out of Belltown.”

    Why move when it’s just easier to put your head in the sand?

  40. 40
    EconE says:

    L.A. cops?

    Hello…Rampart division.

  41. 41
    Matthew says:

    The pullback of the rampart division in LA has largely enabled the MS-13 gang to take control of the LA streets. I’m not saying that there were/are not some serious corruption problems within LAPD, but the officers involved in corruption scandals should be the ones punished, not entire departments. LA is turning into one giant craphole.

  42. 42
    RefractedThought says:

    Crime problems? Heavy traffic? Hot weather? Man, you natives here really don’t know how good you have it.

    I don’t know about Belltown, but I know what Pioneer Square gets like at night, and the cops know too, cause they’ve got someone posted on every frigging block. That’s not danger. That’s a giant frat party (with a few kleptos preying on the fringes). Am I comfortable walking there alone at night? Not really. Have I been in worse places? Hell yes.

  43. 43
    Joel says:

    This article is a good illustration of a fact that few people know: The police have no legal obligation to protect you. Ultimately you’re responsible for your own safety. Luckily, Washington is a shall issue state.

  44. 44
    Dave0 says:

    Comparing crime in Belltown to First Hill is like comparing apples to um, slightly smaller apples. Both are among the highest crime areas in the city.

    Check it out. The city provides all the data. Find your neigborhood on the map and then check the stats for last year

    Or you could go to http://www.neighboroo.com and view these stats by zipcode in a nice colorful map, and notice that downtown seattle has more crime nearly anywhere else in Western Washington!

  45. 45
    LowRentRob says:

    “I never venture into either area without multiple forms of deadly force at my disposal..”

    Yikes!! Are we talking about Belltown or Bagdad? A former US Ranger is sh*tting his pants in BELLTOWN?

    “But hey, the psychological benefits of denying obvious dangers is “feel good therapy” ”

    Maybe. But the opposite extreme – a fearful, bed-wetting, siege mentality that’s way out of proportion to the danger – is not the most functional strategy either.

    I frequent Belltown day and night, and I am wary of some of the people I see there. But I think I have far more to fear from you – subconsciously longing to have your Clint Eastwood moment with the first person that looks at you funny – than I do from any garden variety dope peddler.

    Please confine yourself to your gated community or Bellevue Square so that I can continue to enjoy Belltown.

  46. 46
    Peckhammer says:

    “I think I have far more to fear from you – subconsciously longing to have your Clint Eastwood moment with the first person that looks at you funny.

    Typical.

    A trained individual does everything possible to avoid conflict, or de-escalate conflict in the event it does happen. Being armed is a huge responsibility, and can be a huge financial liability even if you are justified in using deadly force. Learn about it, stop speculating, and put your Clint Eastwood colloquialisms back in your holster.

  47. 47
    Matthew says:

    I will venture to say that the trained individual is probably fine with one form of deadly force in Belltown. :)

  48. 48
    uptown says:

    Walk quickly, don’t look people in the eyes and mind your own business

    I find looking around and walking like I own the place, works very well (being a white male helps). People have actually asked me if I was a cop several times and after I indicate no, they do their drug deal – a quick hand off. BTW this has worked in Chicago, LA, and Belltown in Seattle. Take precautions, like avoiding dark alleys, keeping your distance from places people can jump out from, and being polite to strangers, but remember criminals go after the weak – drunks go after anybody in reach.

    As for the Seattle police: do your job, and that means acting like a professional, then people will respect you. Without respect, you’re just a guy/gal with a badge and a gun.

  49. 49
    Matthew says:

    So uptown, you think that if two guys are going a hand to hand on the street, it’s better to stare at them like you own the place, rather than pay them no attention and keep walking? They are probably asking you if you are a cop because you are staring at them looking like you’ve never seen a street buy before.

  50. 50

    SANCTUARY CITY DRAWBACKS?

    The drug dealers on 3rd and Pine don’t get harrassed by the Seattle Police lest we infuriate the businessmen illegal aliens?

    I’m just filling in the blanks, call me paranoid….lol

  51. 51
    Queen Anne Condo says:

    Yup, I think I am more afraid of the guy carrying his own guns down the street than anything I’ve seen in Belltown. But watch out! Pioneer Square has this kinda of stuff going on …Lt. Kenneth Hicks, shift commander at the precinct that includes Pioneer Square, was leading Kerlikowske on a closing-time tour of the club district when the senior officers witnessed a man-on-eagle fracas, according to police documents.

    The officers watched as a 30-year-old Seattle man shoved the eagle to the curb and then stomped on the costumed man’s back as the eagle’s costumed confederate — a man dressed as a beaver — looked on.

  52. 52
    David says:

    What a piece of $@$! cop.

    A bunch of his boys get caught planting evidence and the police guild president says that might keep police from doing their jobs?!

  53. 53
    David says:

    What a piece of $@$! cop.

    A bunch of his boys get caught planting evidence and the police guild president says that might keep police from doing their jobs?!

    That’s just as bad as somebody saying that because they were treated badly by one cop, all cops are pigs.

  54. 54
    uptown says:

    you think that if two guys are going a hand to hand on the street, it’s better to stare at them like you own the place

    Very funny Matthew –
    1) I don’t stare at people; keep the eyes moving so you can see what’s happening around you (like you’re supposed to do when driving as well)
    2) a “hand off” is not “going hand to hand” – it’s a quick exchange of money or goods: like the spies do on TV or movies
    3) they ask before they do the deal, not after or during (duh) – as I’m walking towards them

    The reason I left Belltown was the tourists, day and night varieties. If I wanted to be near suburbanites, I would live in the suburbs.

  55. 55
    Joel says:

    But the opposite extreme – a fearful, bed-wetting, siege mentality that’s way out of proportion to the danger – is not the most functional strategy either.

    You should know that those that have thought ahead of time about dangerous situations and are prepared for them are less fearful because they know if the crap hits the fan, they’re ready for it. People always assume that being ready for a situation implies fear of the situation, but really it’s the opposite. I make myself ready for a situation so that I don’t have to fear it all of the time.

  56. 56
    redmondjp says:

    Wow! With all this talk about how dangerous Belltown is, I’m glad I live in (yawn) Redmond where the worst thing I have to deal with is getting profiled (typ. scenario: sudden U-turn across 5 lanes by cop and then followed, tailgated, with multiple lane changes, and then purposefully driving in the next lane in my blind spot) by the police for the crime of driving a 20-year-old car. It’s happened so many times already I’m almost disappointed when they don’t do it.

    Now what were we talking about again?

  57. 57
    Matthew says:

    Uptown,

    A hand to hand exchange is exactly what you described. One person hands one guy money, the other hands him dope. You do the exchange at the same time.

    You must be doing something wrong, I’ve been living in Belltown for quite some time now, seen plenty of hand to hand deals, and never been asked if I’m a cop.

    Like the spies do in movies? Thanks for the tip, being a federal agent and having worked narcotics in the past I probably don’t know what a street buy buy looks like.

    Making eye contact with a dealer on the street means you are looking to buy. That’s why you don’t make eye contact, you just keep walking, straight ahead, minding your own business.

    To each his own.

  58. 58
    Zoe says:

    ** mike2 said,
    on July 11th, 2007 at 3:10 pm
    The moral of the story is nancy boys from LA can’t survive on the mean streets of Seattle. **

    I know the parents of the nancy boy in question (jewish princess is more accurate in his case) I highly doubt that he was beaten while innocently walking home. Drug deal gone bad, yup, I’d believe that one, he ran his big mouth, hell yeah. Could have been paybacks/karma for his bad behavior a few years ago too, but I won’t get into that.

  59. 59
    Jason says:

    http://seattlehousingbuzz.com/2007/07/belltown-dirt

    “As part of the Belltown community, my John L. Scott office participates in the Adopt-A-Street program and cleans 1st Avenue a few times every year. Though only a small gesture, we hope we’re doing our part to be good neighbors. We’ll be out on the morning of August 11th, picking-up trash and sweeping 1st Avenue.”

    So even if condo buyers can’t be bothered to clean up their neighborhood, their Realtors are. You might as well get your money’s worth since John L. Scott charges $10,000 more for a house than Redfin does — and they’re proud of that fact! http://seattlehousingbuzz.com/2007/05/losing-by-saving

  60. 60
    Pgniss Mcgee says:

    Belltown is by far the most entertaining part of the city, along with capitol hill, fremont, the U-district, and georgetown. You want to live in Redmond, enjoy sitting on 520 on a regular basis. It blows.

    Of those other neighborhoods, only Fremont is not as scary or worse. Bottom line, no place in Seattle is as scary as Tacoma, let alone LA or Chicago, or even
    some hick outpost like Forks or Granite Falls full of white supremacists who like to play deliverance. Seattle is mild, so I wish people would stop complaining about how rough it is. By the way, I said a balance between the police and the city council, I didnt say the police should beat up the ‘hippies.’ I’d much rather party with hippies than the stuck-up right-wingers who imagine they’ve got their crap together just because they have no morals left, and would sooner punch someone than learn anything.

    I had two shoreline cops pull guns on me once just because I happened to be driving by and someone
    said my car looked like someone who had just burglarized his house. One wrong move and I would’ve been toast, and for what? Protecting the morons of shoreline? Enough of the police playing hero. The guns and badges do go straight to their heads, although I’ve met really nice cops, too. But I’ve also seen some dudes who cant smile to save their life, and are living on tension and their own supposed superiority, even though they’re just paid patsies of the rich fundamentally. They’re here to control the masses for the rich, and they love the rich,
    So no wonder they treat the people like we’re below them. They remind me of stupid overpaid pro athletes.
    I cant believe a chief of police could defend the behavior of a cop with an itchy trigger finger, but there you go, that’s not a group of public servants, that’s a self-protecting clan.

    Why are gangs like MS-13 tolerated? Because the CIA and the drug business makes a lot of money for the police, the feds, and others. Look at the DEA and the war against pot, as well as the cocaine connection. Our air traffic control can monitor thousands of flighta a day, but
    can’t stop drug inflights? PUHLEASE.

    Its all kickbacks, so right-wingers should bust the cops they love so much instead of blaming hippies, who dont import coke unless they’re using being hippies as a disguise.

    Like I said, two bottom lines. Drug dealers shouldnt be tolerated, but they are because they, like the alcohol dealers, make money for the rich. Two, its good for cops to be shown the line of the law, and be reminded they work for the people, and they are from the people, not some special elite working for the rich. Of course, the elites rule until they blow it, and the people drag them into the streets. America is mellow anf fat, but maybe we’re entering another period like that, since the rich have blown it once again, both with a stupid war for the oilpigs, and a totally unregulated ripoff-based economy.

  61. 61
    Matthew says:

    Mcgee,

    Do you have any facts to support any of those claims? You may have been able to make somewhat of an argument that the CIA had some involvement in brokering drug transactions to fund the contras, but that was 20 years ago.

    Drug dealers make money for the rich? The rich nowadays make money by running hedge funds and making private equity deals. Most large drug kingpins reside outside of the United States, usually either in Mexico or somewhere in Central or South America.

    You obviously have no clue as to how air traffic is monitored in the U.S. and along the South West border. First of all, the Southwest border is for the most part, wide open. There aren’t many air traffic control stations down there as there are very few airports nearby. The northern border is in the same situation. Planes don’t even need to land, but merely fly by, drop their loads and return to foreign air space. It’s much more difficult than you think to catch them in action.

    Sorry you had one bad run in with cops in Shoreline, but for the most part law enforcement has a tough job to do and for the most part does a pretty good job keeping people safe in Seattle.

  62. 62
    BelltownDad says:

    “I never venture into either area without multiple forms of deadly force at my disposal, and if I can avoid those areas altogether, I do”

    So youre telling me an asian couple with a baby feel safer strolling in Belltown than a former Army Ranger armed to the teeth. How sad is that.

    Facts are facts and we have lived here for 5 years with ZERO incidents. Belltown is several square blocks and most of the crime is limited to a certain area where the clubs are, and obviously not in my area.

  63. 63
    Peckhammer says:

    BelltownDad said:

    Facts are facts and we have lived here for 5 years with ZERO incidents.

    The following values are represented as an index, where the value 100 represents the national average:

    Total Crime Risk: 234
    Personal Crime Risk: 121
    Rape Risk: 107
    Robbery Risk: 248
    Assault Risk: 136
    Property Crime Risk: 265
    Burglary Risk: 336
    Automotive Theft Risk: 467

    Yeah, ZERO incidents!

    2005 Data on community demographics provided by OnBoard LLC.

  64. 64
    explorer says:

    Uptown’s and Joel’s comments on street behaviour are spot on. You should never take your eyes off of someone who is in close proximity and is behaving in a way that could be a threat. That is different than neutral eye contact and a nod for a buy. They may be waiting to blindside you. However, that does not mean you need to initiate a conversation, or respond with macho talk, as that is a challenge. If you take on a look like you are crazier than them, e.g. a cold “crazy” stare in SILENCE and not responding to territorial pissing works well most of the time. Keep moving but don’t take your eyes off the threat until you are well away from it. When that does not work, you should be prepaired with a weapon to show, and NOT HESITATIE to use it should brandishing it not deter a direct physical attack. If you do not have an effective weapon , RUN in a zig zag pattern with your head down if they are armed. If you are a jogger, that should be natural, execpt for the zig zagging…..

    Just because it has not happened to YOU, does not mean it has not happened to others. Perhaps luck had something to do with it? You live in an area that has a statistically high rate of crime. You cannot ignore that and think you will be permanently immune to it. You owe it to your family to be prepaired to deal with it should it occur. That’s not paranoia. No more than being properly prepared for an earthqake or other disaster is.

  65. 65
    TJ_98370 says:

    Wow! All these posts make me glad I don’t live in the “big city”.

    The biggest threat to life/property that I have had to deal with lately is finding a way to keep the deer from chewing on my apple trees, (eye contact is not a problem in this situation) and the only times I hear from the cops is when they are seeking donations for some charity.

  66. 66
    explorer says:

    Addressing Old Ballards question about doing something to bring this under control:

    Unfortunately, without State legislators and the Gov recognizing the problem for what it is, and being able to overcome the lobbies for the status quo, not much.

    How about rent control and condo conversion limits/restrictiions? Both are hamstrung by existing state statutes (rent control), and powerful, moneyed lobbying interests (condo conversions, SFH and townhouse zoning). Local governments are too drunk from the increased (temporarily) taxes and fees to do anything substantial.

    I can hear the cries of “Maxist” by some of you here, that we don’t understand “the market,” and “economics 101.” Spare me. This has gone past the point of simplistic macro economics and who gets to make how much profit. There are other fundumentals that cannot be ignored, or you posion your own well, and no one will be immune to going down with the economic ship.

  67. 67
    BelltownDad says:

    I did not say Belltown has ZERO incidents.

    I wrote that I have lived here 5 years and have experienced ZERO incidents.My car has never been touched ( I street park my 1997 Honda Accord), my building never vandalized, my wife and I have never been harassed, bothered, assaulted, or even looked at the wrong way. We walk daily along 5th and 4th from Denny to downtown. Before the baby we would watch the late night shows at Pacific place and Cinerama and feel perefectly safe walking home.

    Im sorry you feel this way about Belltown but you do not LIVE here and I do, so I think I know more about this place then you ever will.

    So yes I personally have had ZERO incidents.

  68. 68
    peckhammer says:

    “Im sorry you feel this way about Belltown but you do not LIVE here and I do, so I think I know more about this place then you ever will.

    All you appear to know about Belltown is that despite the crime rate being twice the national average, you “personally have had ZERO incidents.”

    So what is your point? I know Bell town is dangerous and you think it isn’t because you’ve been lucky. That’s an odd approach to the facts.

  69. 69
    Jose says:

    In Portland, OR, there is this area called Pearl District, where new high-rise apartment buildings were placed back in the late 90’s. The area had a high crime-rate. I had friends who lived there then decided to move out because according to them, the crime-rate there is still high.

  70. 70
    BelltownDad says:

    Hmmm, five years without ZERO incidents is luck?? Luck is winning the lottery. We walk the streets of Belltown almost 365 days a year, and you attribute my having no incidents, without being armed, to luck?.

    Listen, I can see that you have your mind set so no amount of my TRUE TO LIFE experience (not statistical figures) will convince you.

    One day, why dont you just join me and my family for a strollso I can give you a tour of my neighborhood and you can experience for yourself what I am talking about and see that there should be no fear in living in belltown.

    Peace.

  71. 71
    Peckhammer says:

    “We walk the streets of Belltown almost 365 days a year, and you attribute my having no incidents, without being armed, to luck?.”

    No, I attribute it to probability. And being armed has nothing to do with that probability or with luck. We aren’t in an “open carry” city.

    “Listen, I can see that you have your mind set so no amount of my TRUE TO LIFE experience (not statistical figures) will convince you.

    Ummm… I live within walking distance of your “hood” and I’ve seen it for myself — since ’98 for that matter. I have also reviewed the crime stats, and heard from law enforcement on the matter. Let’s not try to sugar coat your justification for locating your family in a danger zone.

    “One day, why don’t you just join me and my family for a strollso I can give you a tour of my neighborhood and you can experience for yourself what I am talking about and see that there should be no fear in living in belltown.”

    Seems to me you are looking for an armed body guard. My responsibility is to protect me and my family, and nothing more. I suggest you seek your own means to protecting your family, either through training or a call to U-Haul.

  72. 72
    Matthew says:

    Guess what just woke me up at 2:30 in the morning? The sound of gunshots outside my window!! I just heard about 7 gunshots on the street directly below my window, and SPD is crawling all over the place. I hear the police helicopter out right now!

  73. 73
    Andrew says:

    Matthew,

    We must be neighbors, because it woke me up too. Sounded like it was right on Blanchard. Cops were parked over in front of the Viceroy on 2nd ave. The wife and I decided this morning that it’s time to move to the Eastside…ASAP!!

  74. 74
    Peckhammer says:

    The PI reported that 4 were arrested in rush-hour shooting yesterday. The shooting occurred at the corner of Third Avenue and Pine Street just after 4:30 p.m.

    “One man was wounded several times in the leg and four suspects were arrested Monday afternoon in a shooting that caused major disruption to downtown rush-hour traffic.”

    The PI also reported that the “shooting happened just a block from where Carlos Lamont Rodriguez was gunned down and killed June 22. Rodriguez was near Pine Street and Second Avenue when he was shot in the back with an AK-47.”

    The answer to these problems is to build more condos, of course.

  75. 75
    elaine says:

    BELLTOWN and DOWNTOWN ROCKS. you guys don’t seem to know what you’re talking about. Whether you like a city life or not is merely your own preference. Downtown/Belltown in Seattle is urban and it’s the only place where you can have a city life in this area. Of course, city life comes with higher crime rates, bums etc. However, it’s not as bad as outsiders think. I’m from NYC and it’s the best city in the planet no matter what you think. I will never live in a suburb without any cultural activities and with horrible food. That’s pathetic in my opinion but again, it’s my preference.

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