Amazon moves employees out of downtown Seattle office due to crime

Amazon headquarters in Seattle. (Photo GeekWire)

Amazon is telling employees they can work in an alternate location due to a recent crime around its downtown Seattle office at 300 Pine St.

“Given recent incidents near 3rd and Pine, we are providing employees currently at this location with alternate offices elsewhere. We hope that conditions will improve and that we will be able to return employees to this location when it is safe to do so,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

Bloomberg reported the news for the first time.

There are currently 1,800 employees working at Amazon’s office, which previously housed a large Macy’s store and is less than a mile from its main headquarters. Amazon opened the office in 2018.

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

Crime in downtown Seattle is pushing many businesses, including tech companies, to move offices or take a wait-and-see approach of staying away even as COVID-19 cases recede.

Companies are also taking steps to keep employees and customers safe when returning to in-person work, including closing offices early so employees can get home before dark, and recruitment of private security guards.

Earlier this year an Amazon engineer was hit in the head with a baseball bat while walking near downtown Seattle. A few days later there was a shootings erupt in downtown neighborhoodsbuilding on what city officials say was a 40% increase in gun violence last year.

Seattle Saw crime peaks in 2021but the rates did not reach the historical levels seen in the 1980s and 1990s. The spikes are still alarming, though — so much so that Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell put public safety at the top of his first State of the City address last month.

Last month, the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal said that “lawlessness now hampers Seattle’s economic recovery.”