Starbucks closing 5 'high-incident' Seattle stores due to safety concerns

Starbucks will permanently close five of its Seattle stores in areas with high rates of crime, a spokesperson told FOX 13. 

The Starbucks locations in Roosevelt (6417 Roosevelt Way NE), Central District (2300 S. Jackson Street), International District (505 5th Ave. S.), Capitol Hill (1600 E. Olive Way) and downtown Seattle at the Westlake Center (400 Pine St.) will all permanently close. 

These locations will close on July 31.

According to the company, the decision to close those five locations stems from the number of crime-related complaints that were filed at each location, either by employees or customers. 

In a letter to Starbucks partners on creating a "safe, welcoming and kind third place," senior vice presidents of U.S. operations Debbie Stroud and Denise Nelson said: 

"You’re also seeing firsthand the challenges facing our communities – personal safety, racism, lack of access to healthcare, a growing mental health crisis, rising drug use, and more. With stores in thousands of communities across the country, we know these challenges can, at times, play out within our stores too. We read every incident report you file – it’s a lot." 

Those who work in the closing stores can be reassigned to neighboring locations if they choose, the company said. According to The Seattle Times, those who are currently working at the Union Station and E. Olive Way stores-- the two stores that are unionized-- will continue to receive union representation if their new store is also unionized. 

Individual store managers will also be allowed to choose whether bathrooms remain open to the public, The Seattle Times reported.