AT&T joins other corporate giants in leaving downtown San Francisco amid massive crime wave

The AT&T store scheduled for closure is across from San Francisco Centre which was recently surrendered to owner Westfield's lender.

Ari Hoffman Seattle WA
AT&T is permanently shuttering its flagship San Francisco store on Powell Street in the Union Square area, making it the latest retailer to bail on The City By The Bay.

AT&T’s spokesperson Chris Collins told the San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday that the store will close Aug. 1.

Collins said, “Consumer shopping habits continue to change, and we’re changing with them. That means serving customers where they are through the right mix of retail stores, digital channels and our phone-based care team. We are proud of our continued presence in the community, not only through our retail stores but our local investment in world-class connectivity with our 5G and fiber networks.”

He added that the store’s employees will be offered jobs in other locations.

News of the closure comes one day after Cinemark announced that it is closing its theater in the city’s biggest mall San Francisco Centre. Just days before, Westfield announced it was surrendering the shopping center to its lender due to rampant crime.

The AT&T store scheduled for closure is across from San Francisco Centre.

AT&T’s announcement comes amid a massive exodus of retailers that have closed up shop in the city due to rampant crime, the city’s drug crises, homelessness, and a lack of foot traffic. One shop owner claimed the city is worse than his home country of Afghanistan

Nordstrom has also announced it was shutting down both its downtown San Francisco locations, including one that is in the San Francisco Centre property.

Before Cinemark’s closure announcement, Westfield said that San Francisco Centre would only be 55 percent leased when the shop[ing center giant exits, and the company’s US malls are on average 93 percent leased.

Park Hotels & Resorts also announced it had stopped making its mortgage payments and turned over two hotels to the bank, the Hilton San Francisco Union Square and Parc 55, due to safety issues in the area and expressed skepticism that the Gold City could recover.

Old NavyWhole Foods, T-Mobile, and other retailers have already closed their San Francisco locations or are in the process of doing so.

The Chronicle reported that approximately a quarter of the storefronts in Union Square are vacant.

On Monday, California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom told Fox News host Sean Hannity that his efforts to solve the state's massive homeless crisis have fallen flat, saying, "We own this, Sean. I'm not here defending this." 

The former San Francisco mayor added, "I don't like the bashing of my old city, San Francisco. Whole Foods did shut down one business, but it was a bad location to begin with, and they're opening a new one." Newsom did not elaborate on where the new location would be.
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