All the renovation going on in town

Followers of this blog have seen the ongoing transformation of my small city’s downtown into a residential mecca.

We’re fortunate to be in a part of the country that has appeal based in part on its proximity to the ocean and mountains as well as the big-city attractions of Boston an hour away, without the crowding and cost of living.

The elimination of the bottlenecks between us and Interstate 95 ten miles away has also made Dover a more affordable real estate alternative compared to Portsmouth’s bloated high prices – even though I’m still in sticker-shock-land when I see what the purchases and rentals are going for. (Who can afford this?)

I had wondered, too, what the impact of all the new luxury apartments downtown would have on the older apartments. Would rental prices fall as a result? Some of the places were what you might call sketchy. And some, even only a few blocks from our place, are distinctly slummy.

What’s surprising me is the number of older rentals that are undergoing upgrades. Plumbing, windows, drywall, kitchens, flooring, even the wiring. It seems to be happening everywhere, though largely out of sight unless you start knocking on doors.

I’m still nervous about the economy in general, but it seems Dover’s in a good place to bounce back after Covid.

Police staffing rates in various big cities

  • Baltimore: 40.6 officers for every 10,000 residents / 48.2 total personnel
  • Boston: 31.5 / 39.7
  • Chicago: 43.9 / 48.2
  • Dallas: 24.8 / 29.0
  • Miami Beach: 26.7 / 34.7
  • New York: 42.3 / 60.0
  • Philadelphia: 40.2 / 50.9
  • Los Angeles: 24.6 / 31.7
  • Seattle: 19.8 / 27.8
  • Washington, D.C.: 55.1 / 63.9

In contrast, Dover, New Hampshire, where I live, the figures are 16.1 and 23.5.

(Based on 2016 FBI Uniform Crime Reporting data)