…or nowhere you’d rather be. Events and circumstances can quickly change one’s outlook and drive one’s behavior.
In real estate, the most important determinant of value is location, location, location. Few would dispute that the most prestigious place to live in America’s most beautiful coastal city is the “occasionally chic, hardly affordable, always elite Pacific Heights,” San Francisco’s most expensive neighborhood.
However, property values in even the best neighborhoods and cities can be affected when residents don’t feel safe. The following story is instructive:
July 29, 2022 - Dees Stribling, Bisnow National (an online business news aggregator):
After Prologis CEO Hamid Moghadam was robbed at gunpoint in the upscale San Francisco neighborhood of Pacific Heights in June, the real estate executive had harsh words for the city, [announcing]… that the level of crime there is “absolutely unacceptable.”
“I would say, right this second, San Francisco is probably the most dysfunctional city in America,” Moghadam said, according to The Real Deal, adding that if public safety doesn’t improve, it wouldn’t be hard for Prologis to relocate its headquarters from the city. [Emphasis added.]
Prologis is often recognized as the world’s leading owner/landlord of industrial and warehouse properties. Its cash-generating assets are located in almost every major global city.
Mr. Moghadam would surely not want to impair his own San Francisco holdings by moving out because of fear. Especially not if the decision was based on a single encounter with gun-wielding assailants in a city with the strictest gun laws in the nation.
One may reasonably assume that Prologis will remain in San Francisco for cultural, entertainment, and client development reasons. Major commercial tenants from across the US, Asia, Australia, Canada, and Latin America are no doubt accustomed to being wined and dined in style among San Francisco’s elite.
However, policymakers in San Francisco and elsewhere should take note of the fact that lawlessness can easily spread from smash-and-grab luxury good heists to broad-based shoplifting with impunity. We all have heard stories of grocers, drug stores, and coffee shops that have shuttered locations in some formerly desirable urban areas due to crime.
Shinzo Abe was recently assassinated by a gunman in Japan - a nation where guns are extremely rare due to strict controls. The weapon used against Shinzo Abe appears to be handmade, suggesting that even absent legal commercial access to firearms, determined assailants can acquire and use weapons anywhere.
Can anyone hope for a safer, less violent society when the world’s three most well-armed nations, Russia, China, and the US are overtly threatening one another with violence based on their intentionally provocative behavior?
There truly is nowhere to hide.
Perhaps the most practical solution to personal safety is not based on proximity or access to offensive or defensive weapons at all. Perhaps the most practical solution is to adjust one’s appearance and behavior to avoid being an attractive target for an assailant’s attack.