New emails obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle show that executives of and tenants at the famous and beleaguered Westfield mall in the downtown district of the city begged for help from authorities in the city, but that relief from the crime wave was not provided and so now the mall’s owners are giving up on it.
According to the Chronicle, the city sent two police officers to patrol the mall daily, but they were far from enough to keep businesses out of harm’s way and present an image of safety to potential patrons of the mall and its businesses. As a result, foot traffic fell precipitously and sales with it.
In one of the obtained emails, for example, Westfield mall executives said that Claire’s, a youth jewelry store in the mall, did not see “much slow down” in rampant theft and shoplifting even after the two police officers were sent to patrol the facility.
In another email, this one sent by a Vice President of the parent company of Westfield to the city’s top economic development official after the police officers were sent, the VP said, “I’m also hearing now from our center team that there were two incidents yesterday where people were held up by knife point at the center for theft.”
So, neither businesses nor patrons were safe and business at the mall fell like a rock. Now, because of that falling business, the formerly successful Westfield San Francisco Center, a once-thriving business that had 70 of the best retail brands housed within it, is defaulting on its more than $550 million loan and giving the keys to the lender.
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