You are right. In transition. It depends on the neighborhood. I grew up around there so know the area well.
Typically it seems to get better south of Forest and East of Marsh, but there are pockets.
Prices keep moving up for the most part and lots of rehabs. Tear downs and rebuilds started about 2005-2006 but stopped with the downturn. There may have been a few lately, but it is just a matter of time due to the location.
Safe is always a relative word...so tough to say what is safe or not safe for you.