Amazon has decided to relocate office workers in downtown Seattle after a teenage boy was shot dead outside its office.
The company has made the decision after a spike in violent crime in the area, which culminated with the death of 15-year-old Michael del Bianco.
The office employs around 1,800 people.
It is at present unclear how many are being relocated as many have not returned to office work at all since the start of the pandemic two years ago.
The Seattle Police Department set up a mobile station at the crossroads and expanded the number of patrolling bike officers to address the concerns afflicting the region.
An Amazon spokesman said: “Given recent incidents near 3rd and Pine, we’re providing employees currently at that location with alternative office space elsewhere. 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.”
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.
“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.”
Several other businesses, including Qumulo, a cloud technology startup, and Piroshky, a famed Russian bakery, have also closed as a result of the recent increase in crime.
McDonald’s has also confirmed the shutdown of its downtown Seattle outlets, citing a lack of safety for its employees.
Franchise owner and operator David Santillanes said “My top priority is the health and safety of our employees and customers, 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.”