ST. LOUIS — The South Grand Boulevard business district is pleading for more law enforcement and better safety after crime continues to ripple through the area.
The district has been struggling with this issue for years. One central location for crime is the Schnucks on South Grand Boulevard. District leaders have said they're working to create solutions.
"The majority of the complaints I get on that front are people going into Schnucks getting tall cans of alcohol, coming out, drinking, coming back in to get another one, and doing that all day," 15th Ward Alderwoman Megan Green said. "By the end of the day, that starts to get rowdy."
Green and others from the district sent a letter to Schnucks Thursday, proposing a solution where Schnucks would pay $15,000 to help make the area a Community Improvement District, where "area businesses pool tax revenues to fund maintenance, beautification, safety, and more, of the South Grand area is the best path forward."
The store told 5 On Your Side it’s already taking steps, like installing additional fencing on its sidewalks and expanding resources with Behavioral Health Response.
"We really need Schnucks to come to the table," Green said.
Area business owners told 5 On Your Side they've seen knife fights, aggressive panhandling and piled-up trash through their own windows.
One restaurant owner said the need for change in the area is beyond overdue.
"It's been a long year," said Mohamad Abdulkadir, owner of Waaberi Restaurant on South Grand Boulevard.
He's got another full-time load on his hands.
"I've seen people get stabbed, couple people get knocked out, senior citizens get punched," he said.
He's one of many in the South Grand Boulevard business district with a front row seat to stabbings, panhandling, drug use and litter outside his own front door.
He said it's an exhausting situation with several clear solutions.
"Whoever says more cops is not the answer is just lying,” he said.
With how much Abdulkadir has seen, he said the thought of it all is just upsetting. He said it's more than any human eye should.
Alderwoman Green said if Schnucks does not want to pay to be a part of the community improvement district, they have other suggestions for ways the store can contribute to a safer, cleaner South Grand district.