Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce reporter Marc Stiles recently quoted a source as saying that J.C. Penney has pulled the plug on plans for a store in the Kress Building at Third Avenue and Pike Street in downtown Seattle. Neither J.C. Penney nor the new owner of the Kress would comment on whether the deal is off, Stiles reported. But a local retail specialist said he was surprised about Penney’s lease at Third and Pike, because it struck him as “outrageous” given the scruffy character of the corner. Third and Pike is within a six-block area that, according to an analysis by The Seattle Times, had nearly 1,000 crime incidents over the last year. They included 98 reports of shoplifting, 86 narcotics violations, 83 assaults and 49 robberies. As Stiles noted “Not exactly roll-out-the-welcome-mat numbers for retailers and their customers.”
Do you think retailers are reluctant to locate in that area, or should be? What can be done to make it better?