COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Simply unacceptable. That is what a local developer is saying about Atlanta’s rise in crime.
Fulton County’s district attorney said the homicide rate alone jumped 39% last year in the county compared to 2019.
Since last summer, Atlanta police, the mayor’s office and the City Council have all been working together, trying to find ways to reduce crime.
But a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, crime is still a major problem.
Now, a downtown developer said he has had enough.
Channel 2′s Michael Seiden learned that the developer’s storefront is boarded up because someone broke his windows.
Tom Aderhold of Aderhold Properties said he lost business, and his employees do not feel safe. So over the weekend, he wrote a letter to Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.
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“As a significant landowner and taxpayer in the city of Atlanta, this level of incivility is simply unacceptable,” he wrote.
On Monday, Seiden stopped by one of Aderhold’s buildings at 56 Peachtree Street to check out some of the damage left behind after Aderhold said a homeless person used rocks to shatter the storefront.
“One of our female leasing agents has asked not to be sent to our Muses property again due to the amount of verbal abuse she suffers walking from her car to the office,” Aderhold wrote.
He also described the growing homeless population at Woodruff Park, saying that there’s been a significant “increase in tent camping.”
He also accused some of the men of “using the streets and sidewalks as a bathroom with impunity and harassing anyone within range.”
Aderhold sent the letter at a time when there is currently $1.6 billion in investment underway downtown, according to Central Atlanta Progress, a downtown business association.
Seiden contacted the mayor’s office for comment on this story, but it declined.
In January, Bottoms released the One Atlanta: One APD Immediate Action Plan to address crime and the systemic issues that lead to violence.
As part of her plan, the mayor laid out seven immediate actions, including expanding enforcement of nuisance properties, as well as focusing on additional resources and increasing targeted enforcement on gangs and gun violence.
But Aderhold wants more.
“We need an immediately improved response that gets to the heart of these socioeconomic, public health and safety issues. We can do better, and we must do better,” he wrote.
Cox Media Group