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Downtown Seattle business continues remote work because of crime, not COVID

Businesses continue to speak out about the ongoing violence in the downtown core, specifically in the area of Third Avenue and Pike Street.

SEATTLE — A downtown Seattle tech company won’t bring workers back to the office until they feel it’s safe, not because of COVID-19, but crime.

Businesses continue to speak out about the ongoing violence in the downtown core, specifically in the area of Third Avenue and Pike Street.

Martin Fagan with Qumulo is a former police officer, now a facilities director for the cloud computing company based at Fourth Avenue and Pike Street. He told his employees they don't have to return to the office until the situation downtown "stabilizes." 

"When I'm uncomfortable walking out into the street, I can't imagine what our employees feel like having to go in and out of the building," said Fagan.

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Fagan said they're at a "breaking point," where things either need to change, or "we're going to feel like we have to depart the area, and we don't want to have to do that."

He and the employees at Qumulo aren't the only ones.

Over the weekend, Piroshky Piroshky's owner Olga Sagan announced they would close the bakery's Third Avenue location "until further notice" due to the crime in the area. The announcement followed a fatal shooting on Sunday afternoon.

The McDonald's closed as well, unable to "guarantee the safety of their employees."

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell hasn't been silent on the issue. He said it's "unsafe." The first thing the city has to do, he said, is be "open and honest and transparent about the conditions down there. They are unsafe to walk, to shop, and so we have a plan and the plan will be implemented." 

It's a plan Harrell said will be unveiled in the coming days.

Meanwhile, however, crime continues. 

On Tuesday, police intercepted a carjacking while they responded to a stabbing. 

On Wednesday night, police were back on Third Avenue responding to a shooting. A young man later died from gunshot wounds while being treated in the hospital.

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