When Australian real estate investors Greg McNichols started investing in Detroit a few months ago, he wanted to “make a profit and do it the right way,” says one of his former tenants. However, following McNichols’ murder – possibly over rent money and an attempted eviction – many residents of his building and the area are starting to think that the investor – and they, themselves – might be better off just giving up. “You finally get someone to come into this city and try to do something nice, and this is what you get,” said one tenant who witnessed the shooting.
McNichols had planned to return to Australia to visit his mother, but had active, ongoing plans for improving his rental properties and the community around them, installing picnic tables and initiating a weekly community cookout. Tenants in the building were helping with renovations. “We really put a lot of work into this place,” says one. McNichols had hoped to fix up the apartment building permanently and get rid of squatters living in the vacant lot next door. It is unclear whether the shooting was linked directly to the argument over rents that the investor was having at the time of his death or an unrelated, drive-by incident.
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