A manufacturing plant making building material out of hemp is coming to Glenville and is expected to bring hundreds of new jobs.
RELATED: 650 jobs coming to Glenville
The abandoned building on Kirby Avenue has been vacant for quite some time.
Folks in the neighborhood said this part of town was once vibrant but is now desolate and crime-ridden.
“It’s about time. They’re finally going to do something with the neighborhood because the neighborhood is falling apart," said Jerry Foster.
Foster worked in the abandoned building when it was a thriving part of town. Since the early 2000's, Foster said it's been a steady decline.
The new facility formerly housed the North Coast Packaging Corporation.
"It’s going to be a good thing. A very good thing," Foster said. "Hopefully it starts these other businesses back up, and it slows down the crime and slows down the dumping.”
North Coast Natural Solutions, a Level 5 Global Corporation, which specializes in producing hemp, announced it's opening a new facility in Glenville neighborhood, bringing 650 jobs to the neighborhood.
The company will use hemp to create Hempcrete, a cost-efficient construction product that is biodegradable and recyclable.
"Which is like concrete but stronger," said Pastor Aaron Phillips.
At first, the plant will manufacture things like straws, plastic, windows and textiles. Phillips said the two-year plan is to make CBD oils, which involves another compound in the cannabis plant.
Phillips is the pastor at Sure House Baptist Church. Knowing the neighborhood well, he said Glenville needs this now more than ever.
“It was a very vibrant community. It was an industrial park, and there were a lot of businesses here,” he said. “Crime is very high. Unemployment is very high. Schools are very poor.”
According to 2010 U.S. Census data, 31 percent of people in Glenville are in poverty. Nearly 20 percent are unemployed.
The plant should be up and running by the end of June 2019.
Positions start at $17 an hour ($35,000 annually) and will include health care, child care and transportation benefits.