Developer says Portland businesses vacating city as streets fill with needles, burning mattresses, and broken glass

Retailers in Portland, Oregon, are abandoning the area after almost three months of nonstop destruction by looters and rioters, according to one developer.

Greg Goodman, the co-president of Downtown Development Group, lashed out at Mayor Ted Wheeler and city officials in a letter penned to the City Council in which he described an apocalyptic scene playing out in the streets of Portland on a daily basis.

“I would encourage each of you to walk around downtown Portland in the morning,” Goodman wrote. “Name the time and I will give you a tour. 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’s letter noted Airbnb, Banana Republic, Microsoft, Google, and Daimler Chrysler are either abandoning storefronts or development in the city after 87 straight nights of protest that followed the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody on Memorial Day.

“The number is like nothing I have seen in 42 years of doing business in downtown,” Goodman said. “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.”

Responding to Goodman’s criticism, Wheeler accused right-wing groups of creating the conditions in the city after a group of Proud Boys, a violent, far-right organization, clashed with demonstrators over the weekend.

“I vehemently oppose what the Proud Boys and those associated with them stand for, and I will not tolerate hate speech and the damage it does in our city,” Wheeler wrote. “White nationalists, particularly those coming to our city armed, threaten the safety of Portlanders, and are not welcome here.”

*story by The Washington Examiner