Businesses are fleeing city centers in Seattle and Portland because of crime, homelessness and vandalism

A chemical distribution company called TR International has decided it’s time to leave downtown Seattle. The company’s CEO told King 5 that because of ongoing safety issues, they were moving the company to Edmonds.

TR International CEO Megan Gluth-Bohan said the decision to leave was easy. She cited ongoing violence, along with rampant homelessness and drug use.

“Downtown started off as a vibrant place to be. Over time we became embarrassed,” she said.

Gluth-Bohan said the company’s mostly female workforce simply didn’t feel safe downtown anymore.

“We had one female employee chased into a Starbucks,” Gluth-Bohan said. “Business partners coming in for meetings were dodging human fecal matter and homeless people on the sidewalk. We had an employee paying for parking after work. She had her driver’s side window down working the parking machine, and someone attempted to enter her car.”

TR Global has spent $4 million on their new headquarters and will spend another $500,000 on renovations. King 5 reports that at least 160 businesses have left the downtown area in the past year.

It’s not just Seattle where problems of homelessness, crime and vandalism are cropping up. Last month a survey of businesses owners in Portland found a solid majority felt downtown was unsafe and a third said they planned to leave.

In a survey conducted between Nov. 15 and Dec. 31, 2020, 62% of downtown businesses owners said that the central city was no longer safe, a nearly threefold increase from when the survey was last conducted in 2018…

A third of businesses said they planned to relocate in the next two years, with only 6% saying they would relocate to another space downtown. That compares to 17% that said they planned to relocate within two years when the survey was last conducted in 2018…

Of those surveyed, 86% said cleanliness needs to improve downtown. Seventy-seven percent said the impact of people experiencing homelessness, mental illness and/or addicted to intoxicants was very much a concern, while 73% said the effects of increased graffiti and vandalism was very much a concern.

Obviously this is a recipe for disaster for any city that wants to maintain a vibrant city with local opportunities for good jobs. None of these problems are sneaking up on these cities either. The Seattle is Dying special focused on homelessness, drug abuse and street crime first aired nearly two years ago. And these problems have been very evident long before that.

The problem is that the progressive dominance of west coast cities makes it near impossible to do anything about these problems. So the cycle of arrest and release of homeless thieves will continue as will the frequent vandalism by violent anarchists. There’s simply no one willing to put an end to it. All these businesses can really do is pack up and move.

Here’s King 5’s report on TR International’s decision to move: