Downtown shootings cause businesses to consider relocation – Ohio News Time


NS. Louis — Large companies are considering relocating their offices from the downtown business district, city officials said this week over a year of nighttime violence that struck buildings, broke windows, injured and killed people. Said after the shooting.

Just this summer, windows were shot at Lacreed Gas Building, one US Bank Plaza, one Metropolitan Square, and Peabody Plaza, city councilman Jack Coater said.

“I talked to many large downtown employers who showed that they would seriously consider not renewing their leases,” Coatar said Wednesday, based on a recent conversation. .. “You want your workforce to be safe.”

The owner of Peabody Plaza contacted the office of Mayor Tishaura O. Jones this week and at least one of its tenants, Peabody Energy (the country’s largest private coal company and one of the most famous downtown headquarters). Said that he was considering relocation. Said after several office windows were broken by shootings over the weekend.

“We are aware of the ongoing problems and how they affect both downtown residents and businesses,” Jones spokesman Nick Dunne said on Tuesday. “We are assessing the potential for what we can do to strengthen our downtown public security measures so that we can mitigate these cases.”

Peabody has rejected multiple requests for comment. The owner of Peabody Plaza also declined to comment. Jones’ office did not elaborate on the plan.

Businesses and residents have been complaining about downtown issues for decades. During the pandemic, new concerns ignited, further emptying office buildings and entertainment venues. Several groups have closed seemingly unruly bars in recent months, cleaned up crowded homeless camps in North Tuckerbourgbird, strengthened security, and increased downtown luck. I urged them to better coordinate their efforts.

The latest incident happened on Saturday night. Shortly before 10 pm, police reported hearing multiple ammunition fired from 700 blocks on Market Street and saw “a large group of boys fleeing.” At the intersection of North Ace Street and Chestnut Street, an officer found an 18-year-old boy with a gunshot wound on his leg. At least four Peabody Plaza windows were shot and one shattered. Investigation into the case was underway.

Just hours later, just a few yards away, police officers responded to another shooting, leaving three casualties. All were in their early twenties and were hospitalized for gunshot wounds. Police reported that the victim was standing near a car on Market Street between North Ace Street and Nine’s Street when he heard the ammunition from City Garden Sculpture Park, directly opposite Peabody Plaza. Officers encountered “a large, hostile crowd of about 100 people” and sought help.

Dampister, who has lived in downtown for 15 years and chairs the Safety Committee of the St. Louis Downtown Neighborhood Association, said complaints centered around a large group of young people gathering at Kiener Plaza almost every weekend, which is devastating. Said that something was happening. This is the point that has an economic impact on downtown. “

“This is a big concern,” said Pistor.

Brad Waldrop, a commercial broker who owns real estate on Washington Avenue, criticized what he said as a lack of unified and widespread efforts to keep everything downtown in the desired state.

“People are interested in islands such as Ballpark Village, Lumiere Place and Union Station, not the entire downtown area,” he said.

Mr. Waldrop said he was initially attracted to buying downtown because of its architectural appeal and its potential to be a dense and diverse area where many people gather. But now he says rents have been cut in half since he first bought downtown real estate around 2005.

“I lost 50% of my value,” he said.

In 2019, the fourth police district, including downtown, recorded 163 calls calling for shootings at buildings. The following year (the year the city murdered a record-breaking year), police received 339 calls for such shootings. So far this year, we have received 168 calls.

Mr Dan of the mayor’s office said the issue was not unique to downtown.

“This isn’t just downtown. It’s happening all over the city,” he said. “We need to make sure we know where and when they are happening and respond accordingly.”

Coatar said he is “constantly” demanding more police resources downtown, especially in the evenings and weekends.

“Sometimes we get them, sometimes we don’t,” he said.

The mayor’s office told him that a solution had been brewed, but he said he did not share a plan with him.

Peabody has been working downtown for at least two more years. In 2016, the company extended its lease on 701 Market Street until 2023. At that time, Peabody occupied about 7 floors of a 16-story building, which employed about 380 people. From the 9-story peak in the first half of 10 years, when the company hired about 600 people locally.

Since then, the company has been in an unstable business. It announced that it would break out of bankruptcy in 2018, absorb a loss of $ 1.8 billion in 2020 and cut 2,000 jobs earlier this year.

Briar Meads Capital, a New York real estate investment company, acquired Peabody Plaza for $ 35 million in 2020 and invested in improving a 400,000-square-foot building. We have acquired several new tenants, including architectural firm Arcturis, law firm The Cook Group and Practus, and sandwich and salad cafe Ukraft.

Companies routinely threaten to leave the city as a tactic to win concessions.

“People are always frustrated and say they’re going to move,” Pister said. “Who knows if they really happen?”

However, some people who have invested in downtown say they have few options. Waldrop said he is currently looking for out-of-state investment opportunities in the region’s challenges.

“I always love downtown,” he said. “(But) I don’t want to do business here anymore.”

A view of the broken window is shown on Tuesday, September 7, 2021 at Peabody Plaza on 701 Market Street in St. Louis. Investigations are underway to determine if the damage was caused by the Labor Day weekend shootings. Some windows were broken.


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