Businesses are rapidly exiting Portland or moving outside the city center after months of violence and rioting, according to a major property owner.
Greg Goodman and his family have been one of Portland’s largest landowners for decades.
In stern letter to the Portland City Council and Mayor Ted Wheeler, Goodman warned a historic exodus of businesses is taking place after nearly 90 consecutive days of rampant lawlessness.
Along with hordes of smaller companies, large firms are reportedly beating a hasty retreat from the city center, such as Daimler Chrysler, Banana Republic, Microsoft, AirB&B, and Saucebox.
Standard Insurance, downtown Portland’s largest insurance business, recently relocated its employees to a suburban campus in Hillsboro.
“Google, who leased 90k SF in the Macy’s building has stopped construction of their improvements,” Goodman wrote in an email obtained by local media. “The list goes on and on. If you know a retail or office broker, give them a call and ask them how many clients they have are trying to leave. The number is like nothing I have seen in 42 years of doing business in downtown.”
Goodman claims the mass departure has “nothing to do with Black Lives Matter movement (which has been a positive) but does have most everything to do with the lawlessness you are endorsing downtown.”
“I would encourage each of you to walk around downtown Portland in the morning. Name the time and I will give you a tour,” he wrote. “You aren’t sweeping the streets, needles are all over the place, garbage cans are broken and left open, glass from car windows that have been broken out is all over the streets, parks are strewn with litter (their fountains turned off) weeds are taller than the plants in the planter boxes, graffiti is on sculptures, etc. You are willfully neglecting your duties as elected officials to keep our city safe and clean.”
Goodman urged councilmembers to meet with affected business owners and hear their concerns.
“Ask what you can do for them,” he said. “Let them know you care. As importantly, get going on cleaning things up. Get the streets swept, double down on sidewalk washing and cleaning, replace the burnt out newspaper boxes, paint the light standards, get the parks in order, etc.”
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