PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Margulis Jewelers is shutting down after 90 years in downtown Portland, saying slow recovery and the homeless crisis are to blame.
The store owners told KOIN 6 a lack of foot traffic downtown is the reason they’re leaving and blame city and county leaders for not cleaning up downtown.
Here since the Great Depression, Margulis Jewelers has seen a lot of Portland’s history and growth through the years.
Now, they say they’re witnessing the “deterioration” of the once shining city.
“We just can’t last when our downtown is like Twilight Zone. There are very few visitors,” store owner David Margulis said.
After nearly a century in downtown Portland, owner David Margulis says their plan right now is to close in June.
“Downtown is not coming back fast enough. The county government and the city government are talking a lot, but talk isn’t working. They need action and they’ve taken far too long to take action,” Margulis said.
He says city and county leaders aren’t doing enough to get a handle on the problems downtown that are keeping visitors away.
“We’ve got too many mentally ill wandering around, frightening people. They need to take action with so many things. Like moving the homeless, of getting the city employees and county employees to populate the buildings,” Margulis explained.
Then there’s the vandalism which many businesses, restaurants, and landlords told KOIN 6 they struggle with constantly in Portland.
“This wanton vandalism has got to be prosecuted. There has to be consequences,” Margulis said.
The sale they’re having right now, is their first sale in 90 years and it will be their last.
“I’m feeling sad. It’s an unfortunate, unnecessary situation,” Margulis said.
KOIN 6 asked Margulis if inflation and many other issues businesses are facing nationally are impacting their decision. He said the closure is about a lack of visitors downtown.