MetroWest has had a pretty bad rap over the last couple of years. I should know -Â I live there.Â It’s beenÂ affectionately nick-namedÂ “Ghetto-West,” “Metro-Pest” etc. etc. butÂ everyone who lives here knows that apart from the occasional armed robbery atÂ Dunkin Donuts, it’s really not that bad.
Having lived in London, New York, San Francisco andÂ Chicago, I’ve always thought the media attentionÂ was a little worse than the problem itself. UntilÂ last month that is, whenÂ a drug deal went wrong in the parking lotÂ right outside my condo -Â and I heard that familar sounding ‘pop’. I ran outside to find a casing on the concrete, a car with it’s engine running (andÂ door open) – and another car screeching out of the lot. I approached the carÂ that was left running,Â fully expecting to find a body slumped in the driver’s seat. Fortunately, all IÂ saw was a bunch ofÂ dollar bills strewn around the floorÂ and a .45 under the seat.Â
About a month prior, one of our residents was robbed at gunpoint, and most of the other communities around here had been suffering the same fate, including rapings, car jackings etc. etc. Like I say, no big deal. Besides, as everyone knows,Â it’s not MetroWest that’s the problem but Pine Hills (“Crime Hills”) just across the street.
The other half of the equation is thatÂ much of the problem has to do with the deterioration of the MetroWest demographic itself, which has been influencedÂ by theÂ heavy condo conversion buyout by investorsÂ – and the consequent influx of under-qualified renters that IÂ discussed recently.
As a result of these relatively new problems, many people haveÂ dismissed MetroWest is a bad place to live – and a bad neighborhood to invest in.
Not so fast.
I’ve been saying for a while now, that the mini crime waveÂ was just an inevitableÂ blip for MetroWest, and given a couple more years the neighborhood will rebound and produce good profits for savvy condoÂ investors who were able to hang in.
Back in March,Â we mentioned that a police substation was rumored to be imminentÂ for MetroWest (Hiawassee & Raleigh) and then also in March, it was announced the Kevin Azzouz, developer of the mulit-million dollar condos at Veranda Park would be organising a “private police force” for MetroWest. Now that’s what I call protecting your investment.
With the publication of local crime stats for July, it is clear that these measuresÂ have alreadyÂ begun to pay dividends. The MetroWest newsletter for July proudly trumpets “MetroWest -Â now Orlando’s safest neighborhood” – which is no doubt both premature and an overstatement. However the figuresÂ are impressiveÂ – and very welcome.
Since the new program began, MetroWest has seen a steady decrease in the amount of crime and in July, the number of crime incidents dropped to virtually zero. The cost to MetroWest residents is less than $20 per person -Â well worth the price.Â Â
The eventual name change of MetroWest to “Veranda Park”, should complete the transition -Â andÂ at Condo Metropolis we maintain theÂ view thatÂ MetroWest remains a solid investment for both condo home buyers and condo investors.
So come on in, the water’s great! (As always, if you’d like to know more about local OrlandoÂ neighborhoods andÂ current investment opportunities, just drop us a line…)