August 15, 2018 [Chuck Crow, Plain Dealer]
NORTH RANDALL, Ohio – A few dozen public officials, economic-development leaders and journalists wound their way through Amazon’s hulking North Randall fulfillment center on Wednesday, getting an early glimpse of a logistics hub set to start humming in mid-September.
The multi-level building, spanning 2.3 million square feet, stands where shoppers once milled at Randall Park Mall. Soon e-commerce employees will sort, select and pack small goods there for shipment to Amazon.com customers, in a somewhat ironic sign of the changing retail times.
Amazon expects to employ more than 2,000 people in North Randall by mid-October.
The Seattle-based company started accepting job applications online in early summer and will kick off another round of hiring within weeks.
A spokeswoman said potential applicants can text CLENOW to 77088 for hiring alerts.
The jobs will be full-time positions, with benefits.
North Randall Mayor David Smith, whose tiny village suffered as the once-bustling mall declined and fell vacant, was ecstatic after touring the gleaming new building.
“We will be financially stable,” he predicted. “We will be able to provide more services to this community. … As far as our tax base is concerned, it’s going to be history-making.”
Smith wouldn’t put numbers on his projections.
But he said other businesses are looking at nearby locations, piggybacking on the $177 million Amazon project. Convenience store chain Sheetz and restaurants Chipotle and Taco Bell are in talks about sites at the edges of the former mall property, he said.