Amazon is removing employees from its downtown Seattle office over crime

Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle. (GeekWire photo)

Amazon tells employees they can work in an alternate location because of the recent crime surrounding its downtown Seattle office at 300 Pine St.

“Given recent incidents near 3rd and Pine, we are offering employees currently at that location alternative office space elsewhere. We are hopeful that conditions will improve and that we will be able to bring workers back to this location when it is safe to do so,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

Bloomberg first announced the news.

RELATED: Remote working may end soon. But does crime still keep tech workers out of downtown Seattle?

The Amazon office currently employs 1,800 people, formerly home to a Macy’s department store and less than a mile from its corporate headquarters. Amazon opened the office in 2018.

Earlier this month, Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz said the SPD “launched an initiative to curb violent criminal behavior” in the area near Amazon’s office.

Crime in downtown Seattle is causing many businesses, including tech companies, to either move out of office or take a wait and see approach to keep their distance even as COVID-19 cases dwindle.

Companies are also taking measures to keep employees and customers safer when they return to personal work, including closing offices early to allow employees to be home before dark, and hiring private security officers.

Earlier this year, an Amazon engineer was hit in the head with a baseball bat while walking near downtown Seattle. Days later, there was a spate of shootings in downtown districts, building on what city officials say was a 40% increase in gun violence last year.

Seattle saw sharp spikes in crime in 2021, but rates have not reached the historic levels of the 1980s and 1990s. However, the spikes are still alarming — so much so that Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell put public safety at the top of his first State of the City speech last month.

Last month, the editors of the Wall Street Journal stated that “legalities are now hampering Seattle’s economic recovery.”

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