Amazon workers in downtown Seattle will be relocated to a new location due to a sustained increase in violent crime, Amazon announced on Friday. For the same reason, other businesses in the area are deciding to stick with remote work.
The company confirmed to KOMO News that around 1,800 people are employed where office workers are being relocated from. Because many have continued to work remotely since the start of the pandemic two years ago, it is currently unclear how many are being moved.
On March 2, the city’s violent crime incline hit a new peak. In front of the amazon building, at the intersection of 3rd Avenue and Pike Street, 15-year-old Michael del Bianco was shot and killed.
A mobile precinct at the intersection was set up by the Seattle Police Department, and an increase in the number of patrolling bike cops.
“Given recent incidents near 3rd and Pine, we’re providing employees currently at that location with alternative office space elsewhere,” an Amazon spokesman told KOMO News in a statement. “We are hopeful that conditions will improve and that we will be able to bring employees back to this location when it is safe to do so.”
In a statement, Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell’s office said that the mayor “is working every day to make downtown a safe and thriving neighborhood for residents, workers, and businesses.”
“While it will take time to reverse longstanding safety issues, Mayor Harrell’s early efforts are critical first steps to address crime and improve safety through dedicated SPD officers, a mobile SPD precinct, and additional environmental changes,” the statement continued, according to KOMO News. “Mayor Harrell will continue to develop a comprehensive approach to public safety in collaboration with police and safety advocates, community members, service providers, and businesses, including Amazon, to activate, revitalize, and restore downtown for all.”
According to a local NBC affiliate, many other businesses have closed because of the recent rise in crime, including Qumulo, a cloud technology firm, and Piroshky Piroshky, a popular Russian bakery.
Citing an inability to keep its workers safe, McDonald’s also confirmed the closure of its downtown Seattle locations.
“My top priority is the health and safety of our employees and customers,” franchise owner and operator David Santillanes said in a statement to KOMO News. “Out of concern for the safety of our employees and customers, we temporarily closed our restaurant located at 1530 Third Avenue following last week’s shooting.”