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Thursday, 21 November 2013 11:33

Concern Over "Fragile" Downtown Ecosystem

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A group of several tombstones loomed over 10th street place over the past few days in Modesto.

The tombstones bore the names of several downtown businesses that have gone under over the past few years in the downtown area.

The display was a silent protest said Kimberly Humke, in the hopes of creating awareness of what she called a "fragile downtown ecosystem."

"It's a shocking number of businesses." Humke said. "I want this to generate a community dialogue to help and fix and turn around the direction our downtown is getting into."

Humke noted high rents, empty storefronts, and lack of activity as contributors to a downturn in business.

"Every time a business closes, it makes it less desirable and less encouraging for other businesses to come to downtown."

Humke says a vibrant downtown and good public safety strategies is a good step toward attracting and growing businesses.

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  • Guest - Scotchie

    First downtown Modesto has more crime than other areas. The Cop shop is right there and there is more crime around there. We were in the downtown area and left because of the lack of police service or the extremely slow to nonexistent service provided. There are hundreds of homeless that steal everything that is not nailed down. Break-ins during broad daylight hours, and it is like a feeding frenzy after dark. We were happy to move into the county areas because the sheriffs department actually shows up faster and actually does something when they get there. We are extremely happy with S.O. and how they handle business. They tell you the truth and actually send a real person. I am not trying to be mean towards M.P.D., but you cannot improve if you are not looking at what you are doing wrong. Downtown will never come back strong, unless, you clean up the crime. Empty store-fronts? Talk to your local real estate buddies that bought up the properties and try to charge bay area prices for rent. It is a big mess. Clean it up, be realistic with prices, or put the last nail in the coffin and call it dead.

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  • Guest - Guido Parks

    The City, more particularly the police department, killed downtown development over the years. Every time something positive happens in the downtown area, the police department, namely the chief, complain that he has to do his job. Downtown was hopping when the theater first opened, but the police becoming more and more whiny to complacent city management, entertainment left which prompted businesses to close, and create a general distaste in those who once spent money downtown.

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