Amazon to bring new center and jobs to Northeast Ohio

Posted at 5:18 PM, Aug 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-25 17:18:58-04

It's a sign of the times.

An online retail giant is bringing new life to an area once thriving with brick and mortar stores in Northeast Ohio.

Amazon is building an 855,000 square foot fulfillment center at the old Randall Park mall.

This new distribution center will bring hundreds of jobs to the area. Initially, 1,200 positions will be up for grabs as Amazon brings a renewed sense of hope to a community hit hard by the popularity of online shopping.

Crews are wasting no time clearing out the old to make way for the new.

"The mall has been sitting there vacant for a very long time now," said Tyra Sterling, B&M Restaurant.

Amazon picked the once prominent retail destination to build a facility where online shopping orders are fulfilled.

"They're talking open for business 2018 holiday season, so you're talking Thanksgiving, Christmas if not sooner," said Mayro David Smith of the Village of North Randall.

Amazon could eventually hire up to 2,500 people.

Most of the jobs will be part-time, but they will provide benefits and continued education assistance.

Sterling, who manages a BBQ restaurant near the old mall, knows times are tough for many.

"We have people come in every day asking for applications," said Sterling.

Mayor Smith says this $45 million project will give people in his community a chance to collect a paycheck.

"The unemployment rate here is about 5%, so that 5% should be gainfully employed once this development is completed," said Smith.

The revenue generated by the fulfillment center is expected to allow North Randall to build a new village hall and expand services like police and fire.

They hope that's just the beginning.

"It will be a spinoff to all the small businesses that are here. It's gonna create more businesses along the way," said Smith.

In case you're wondering what these new jobs will entail, fulfillment center workers pick, pack and ship small items like electronics, books and toys.