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Major Company Bails on Crime-plagued Chicago

AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File

After 20 years in Chicago, Boeing has decided to end its relationship with the Windy City, which is plagued by high crime and a poor business environment.  


While the company said it will maintain a “strong presence” in Chicago and the state of Illinois, its new global headquarters will be based in Arlington, Virginia.

“We are excited to build on our foundation here in Northern Virginia. The region makes strategic sense for our global headquarters given its proximity to our customers and stakeholders, and its access to world-class engineering and technical talent,” said Boeing President and Chief Executive Officer Dave Calhoun.

Crime is up 35 percent this year in Chicago compared to the same point in 2021, Bloomberg reports. "Though murders and shooting incidents are down, all other major categories of crime are up, including a 67% jump in thefts."

Chicago, the nation’s third-most populous city, has seen a rise in crime that prompted its richest resident, Citadel founder Ken Griffin, to say he’s likely to move his $38 billion hedge fund elsewhere. Chicago’s Magnificent Mile and State Street shopping districts, along with many restaurants in the downtown Loop, have yet to recover from the pandemic. Even the National Football League’s Bears franchise is considering an exit to the suburbs. (Bloomberg)

Illinois Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth called the move “incredibly disappointing.” 


"Boeing's decision to leave Illinois is incredibly disappointing--every level of government in our state has worked to make Chicago and Illinois the perfect home for Boeing's headquarters for the past 20 years. We are working together to ensure Boeing leadership both understands how harmful this move will be and does everything possible to protect Illinois's workers and jobs," the statement read.
 Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot emphasized the company’s continued presence in the city even after the move. 

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin welcomed the decision.

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