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Livonia residents fight proposed pawn shop

Residents concerned pawn shop would bring crime to Livonia neighborhood

LIVONIA, Mich. – Neighbors have waited years for something to move into the old Core Fitness Center building on Middlebelt Road just north of 6 Mile Road in Livonia.

However, the business that could set up shop at the spot is not what they had in mind.

"It's just a family community and we would like to keep it that way. We would like to keep it safe, and we would like to keep it healthy," said Donna DelFavero, who lives nearby.

DelFavero is president of the Valley Wood Condo Association. Those who live there received a letter from the city of Livonia stating the owner of Motor City Pawn Brokers is petitioning the city to have the property repurposed so he can open up a pawn shop.

"I was absolutely shocked," said Marcia Jones, who lives in the area. "First of all, I am not one to get out and spout my opinion and get upset about something, but I am determined about this one."

The pawn shop owner already has several shops in Metro Detroit including one in Livonia. A big concern for people in the community is that the pawn shop would bring crime.

"I think it would bring people that are kind of undesirable and people who are desperate, because if they are going into a pawn shop to sell something they need money," said Jones.

Neighbors say they have nothing against pawn shops but they just don't want one so close to where they live. They are hoping the city sides with them.

"It's right next door, and that's what we want the city planning to know. Would they like a pawn shop next door to their house? City Council, would they like a pawn shop next door to their house? I don't think so," said DelFavero.

The pawn shop owner's petition will go before the city's planning commission at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Livonia City Hall.

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