by Benjamin Nichols
A Seattle-based investment firm announced Monday that it will leave the city because of civil unrest and move south, taking billions with it.
Smead Capital Management President and CEO Cole Smead, told KSTAR NEWS, that “the unrest that has taken place in the city of Seattle… there really is not a downtown community today.”
Office buildings in the downtown are emptying out, according to Smead. “We’re hearing rumors of 40-story buildings that will be only 20-percent occupied by October,” he said.
Seattle’s Capitol Hill Occupied Protest, formerly called the Capital Hill Autonomous Zone or CHAZ, spans several blocks and has caused a disturbance to downtown life. Multiple shootings, rapes, robberies and a death have been reported within CHOP, according to Seattle police chief, and law enforcement had not been able to respond.
A signs reads “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest” in area that has been referred to by protesters by that name as well as “Capitol Hill Organized Protest, or CHOP, on June 14, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (David Ryder/Getty Images)
Although Seattle has lower taxes, Phoenix, Arizona, where the new headquarters will be located, offers easier candidate recruitment and substantial lower cost of living, Smead said.
“My colleagues can pick the socio-economic rung of life that they want to live their lives, build their households and have a family if they’d like… Where we’re coming from just wasn’t like that,” Smead said.
Smead Capital Management manages over $1.3 billion dollars, according to the company’s 2019 annual report.
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Benjamin Nichols is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “CHOP” by Derek Simone. CC BY 2.0.