Amazon fulfillment center could bring hundreds of jobs to North Randall

Updated: Jul. 20, 2017 at 10:26 PM EDT
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Some buildings on the property have been demolished, others still stand. (Source: WOIO)
Some buildings on the property have been demolished, others still stand. (Source: WOIO)

NORTH RANDALL, OH (WOIO) - Amazon could be snapping up the site of a former mall in Northeast Ohio soon.

The vacant lot where the North Randall Mall used to stand is in the running for the project. If the North Randall site is chosen, that could mean at least 1,200 full-time jobs, breathing new life into an area that has been struggling since the mall closed in 2009.

The site of the former North Randall mall is now a sad, desolate place.

"It's different every time I drive by. More and more things being torn down," said Latrina Foster.

Former shoppers like Foster remember the good times at the mall.

"It was nice. Every Saturday, weekends, hanging out with my friends, going to the mall, to the movies," she said.

The vacant mall property is now one of a few final sites that Amazon is considering for a new fulfillment center.

On Thursday, the board of the Port of Cleveland approved a request to provide financing for the 855,000 sq. ft. center. It will issue up to $123 million in taxable lease revenue bonds for the project.

People that spoke with Cleveland 19 seemed to like the idea.

"I think it's great, that it will be a great addition," said Sandra Warr.

But Lucy Thompson says it all comes down to how the village of North Randall handles the new tax base. If they don't get the Amazon plant, she says the picture isn't so rosy.

"How we gonna survive around here? And they always say, 'Shop at your neighborhood store,'" she said. "How can you shop at your neighborhood stores when you ain't got nothing around here?"

Gerry Chokan says if Amazon chooses North Randall, things are looking up.

"We'll take care of business, gladly every day. If that happens and the traffic comes our way, we're all for it," he said.

The Port of Cleveland says Amazon will make a decision on the site in the next 30 to 45 days.

Right now the Columbus area has a few Amazon fulfillment centers that employ thousands. There is also a much smaller sorting center in Twinsburg.

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