(Bloomberg) -- Cofco International Ltd., the trading arm of China’s largest food company, will relocate its downtown Chicago office to the suburbs in part due to persistent crime, according to people familiar with the matter.

The agricultural commodities trader is planning to move to Oak Brook from its location in the Loop, as Chicago’s central business district is known, said the people who asked not to be named because the information is private. High costs and safety concerns are driving the move, the people said.

A spokesman for Cofco confirmed the move, but declined to elaborate on the reasons behind the relocation plans.

Chicago has been grappling with high crime and corporate departures in recent years including Ken Griffin’s Citadel, Boeing Co. and the local offices of Tyson Foods Inc. Cofco’s office is small, but the plans are another setback for a city that needs more sources of revenue and that’s seen downtown vacancy rates climb to a record.

Crime incidents in the Windy City fell 12% this year but are still up 60% from 2020, according to Chicago’s police department. In the first district, which includes the Loop, incidents are still 92% higher than four years ago, data showed.

The issue remains front and center for top business leaders and wealthy families, who raised $66 million earlier this year to help the city combat violence. The efforts were led by the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, which includes senior leaders from companies such as McDonald’s Corp., Ulta Beauty Inc. and Morningstar Inc.

Cofco, whose staff in Chicago amounts to no more than 40 people, entered the US market after buying Dutch grains trader Nidera BV, which owned an export terminal in the South Side of the city. The move to the suburbs is expected to happen at the end of the third quarter or in the last three months of the year, according to one person.

(Updates with move date and number of people in Chicago in last paragraph.)

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.