I was surprised to see our little suburb in the newspaper today. Apparently there was a failed attempt on Thursday evening to rob the Konsum supermarket up at the Centrum. A tall thin man wearing a black balaclava demanded money, apparently threatening the staff with “some kind of weapon” (presumably hidden). However, the staff raised the alarm causing the man to panic and flee out the door empty handed, and he was last seen heading toward the bus stop. It is not clear whether he caught the bus or not, but he has not been apprehended.
Brickebacken has something of a criminal reputation in Örebro, although it seems a fairly clean suburb to me on superficial inspection. Tybble, which is the suburb at the bottom of the hill and which is regarded as much more “respectable”, was also the scene of a robbery a month or two ago, on that occasion a bank robbery. Suspicion immediately fell on the inhabitants of Brickebacken, but when the thieves were apprehended it was found that they came from the other side of town.
In other news from our little corner of the world, the renovation of the shopping centre is now complete, although the actual “village square” is due for a long anticipated makeover this summer. And there are also plans afoot to build a 200 square meter, 20 cm deep, paddling pool in one of the large grassy areas on the other side of Brickebacken from us.
There is also talk of changing some of the flats here in Brickebacken from standard rental to so called “bostadsrätt” flats. This requires some explanation. In Sweden, unlike Australia, there is this entity called bostadsrätt, which basically means that you own the flat you live in but you still pay rent. You don’t really buy the flat, but rather you buy the right to live there. This gives three benefits as far as I can see. First, you sort of own the place, which gives some psychological benefit. Second, the thing you bought is like any other real estate investment and has the potential to grow in value. Thirdly, the actual monthly rent payment decreases compared to normal rent for the same place. Of course you have to pay for maintenance yourself, so it is debatable which makes you better off.
Buying a “bostadsrätt” is much cheaper than buying a house, so it is a easier way into the real estate market. But it is questionable whether Brickebacken is the sort of place people would want to buy into. The plans for our suburb are still just plans, but it will be interesting to see what comes of it.