Shred Fitness owner Michael Soster says “"I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing” despite crime.
Shred Fitness owner Michael Soster says “"I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing” despite crime. Credit: WKYC

By Lydia Esparra

Tucked away in the outskirts of Downtown Cleveland on Prospect Avenue is Michael Soster’s gym, Shred Fitness. He’s opening his business at a time when crime in the city continues to spike.

“I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing because there are people here that need these services,” Soster told 3News, “so I’m not going to be afraid of that.”

But the crime is keeping people away. Following the mass shooting on West 6th on July 9, 39 cars were broken into Tuesday morning Tremont.

Ricardo Sandoval has owned Fat Cats since 1997.

“[It’s sad] that it might be, like, a small group of people that do it, but it certainly doesn’t help business at all,” Fat Cats owner Ricardo Sandoval said.

And as a business owner, Sandoval believes he knows of one good solution

“Crime equals, like, insecurity,” he explained. “The crime happens in all the neighborhoods, so we need more law enforcement, for sure.”

It’s not a unique problem to Downtown Cleveland, as police departments across the country are struggling to find good officers. While increased numbers might help, Soster has other plans for his new business, purposefully looking outside the heart of downtown to provide parking.

“We have 75 gated parking spots,” he said.

Shred is in a very high-traffic area. Inside, the doors are secure, and while he is not in a central area of Cleveland, you get the feeling that you are there.

Soster tells us he did his homework, talked to his neighbors, visited late at night, and noticed there was plenty of lighting. Cleveland, he says, still looks good to him.

“Are we dealing with some negative things along the way? You always will,” he admitted. “I try not to think about that too much.”

Recently, there was a call for shots fired and an attempted aggravated robbery near Public Square, and Cleveland police continue to look for a third suspect in the Warehouse District shooting.

You can watch Lydia Esparra’s video story here:

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