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Amazon's new fulfillment center in North Randall is ENORMOUS

Amazon's new fulfillment center in North Randall is ENORMOUS

NORTH RANDALL, Ohio - The main structure of the new Amazon fulfillment center in North Randall is just about complete and it is ENORMOUS. Clayco Construction company has been working on this project since August 2017. 

Aerial Photo of the NEW Amazon Fulfillment Center in North Randall, Ohio

Aerial Photo of the NEW Amazon Fulfillment Center in North Randall, Ohio

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Below are some photos shot earlier in the planning stages of the project. 

Before the entire Randall Park Mall was Demolished. Taken in July 2017

Before the entire Randall Park Mall was Demolished. Taken in July 2017

As the project was getting started. Photo taken in October 2017

As the project was getting started. Photo taken in October 2017

Aerial Photo of Randall Park Mall in the 1970's.

Aerial Photo of Randall Park Mall in the 1970's.

This new operation is bringing 2,000 new full-time jobs to the former Randall Park Mall location. 

Amazon currently employs more than 4,500 full-time hourly associates at its two existing Ohio fulfillment centers in Etna and Obetz.

Amazon employees at the more than 855,000-square-foot fulfillment center will pick, pack and ship smaller customer items such as electronics, toys and books.

“Words cannot begin to express what Amazon’s commitment to the development of its fulfillment center means for the Village of North Randall,” Mayor David Smith said. “This is a generational project that not only redefines the future of our community but the future of more than 2,000 Cuyahoga County residents who will be employed at the facility.”

Read full article by: Darcie Loreno of Fox 8: Amazon planning new fulfillment center in North Randall, bringing 2,000 full-time jobs

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A 10-story hotel built by mall developer DeBartolo Corp. in North Randall in 1973 on a site next to the former Randall Park Mall has been acquired by an affiliate of Industrial Commerce Properties Corp. of Solon and Industrial Realty Group of California as part of the massive Amazon warehouse project.

Through S.L. North Randall Site One LLC, developers Chris Semarjian and Stuart Lichter, respectively, closed on the purchase of the property at 4600 Northfield Road from the Village of North Randall on Friday, Oct. 6, according to Cuyahoga County land records available online Monday morning, Oct. 9.

Semarjian said in a phone interview the pair plan to raze the hotel and sell sites on the five-acre parcel to food-related and other retailers that might be attracted by the $177 million fulfillment center that the Seattle-based e-commerce firm is having built next door.

The center is expected to employ 2,000 people when it opens, perhaps as early as the second half of next year.

Asked why the redevelopers of former corporate headquarters and industrial plants were willing to undertake such a task, Semarjian said, "Amazon will be a very large neighbor that wanted to see the hotel go away. This made them more comfortable with the site."

Read the full strory about this hotel by Stan Bullard: North Randall hotel sold for Amazon-linked redevelopment

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Watch the video below to see our perspective of the Randall Mark Mall demolition. 

Commercial drones are ready for takeoff

By Gary Shapiro

Gary Shapiro is chief executive of the Consumer Electronics Association.

Lightweight commercial drone aircraft are poised to transform industries from online retail to film and photography to farming and even Internet signal delivery. But delays in federal rule-making mean that U.S. businesses are stuck in limbo, unable to move forward with this exciting technology. While the rest of the world is putting these robots-on-wings to work in life-altering ways, U.S. policymakers continue to stifle innovation and economic growth by equivocating on the merits of drones.

In 2007, the Federal Aviation Administration banned commercial drone use under the same rules that govern the use of model aircraft. Recently, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who chairs the intelligence committee, called for hefty regulation of drones. While the FAA has approved drones for use by hobbyists, as well as for one company to use them in remote parts of Alaska, it’s now time for the agency to consider whether more businesses should be allowed to fly them, given concerns about privacy and safety. Such issues have a real place in this debate, but continuing to keep commercial drones grounded is not the right answer.

The issue of safety is of course of paramount concern, but other nations have been able to responsibly address the risks without shutting down all progress. The FAA has already investigated ways to integrate drones into U.S. airspace. It released a report on guidelines for small commercial drones — of less than 55 pounds — in 2009, but those guidelines were never transformed into final rules. The agency is now working toward an August statutory deadline — a deadline it isn’t likely to meet.

As the FAA continues to hold commercial drones in abeyance, it may not have much of a legal leg to stand on. For one thing, the rules are inconsistent. The agency goes only after operators who make money from drone use, which is why individual hobbyists can fly them without repercussions.

Parrot product manager Francois Callou holds a Parrot Bebop drone during a Parrot event in San Francisco, Thursday, May 8, 2014. The Parrot Bebop drone, which has a 14-megapixel fish-eye camera lens and battery life of about 12 minutes flying time, is scheduled to be released later this year. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) (Jeff Chiu/AP)

Then there are questions about whether the 2007 ban is enforceable. In March, a federal judge threw out a $10,000 fine the FAA imposed on a Swiss drone operator who used a drone to shoot a promotional video at the University of Virginia in 2011, on the grounds that the FAA failed to follow proper rule-making procedures. The agency has appealed the ruling to the National Transportation Safety Board.

Sadly, there are plenty of examples of the FAA squelching drone use rather than developing a needed policy framework. The Washington Nationals are facing potential fines for using a drone to take promotional pictures during spring training. And a Minnesota brewing company was recently forced to stop drone deliveries to ice fishers.

Meanwhile, much of the rest of the world is adopting drones. Sales of drones — both military and commercial — are expected to reach $89 billion globally over the next decade, according to the aerospace-
research company Teal Group. The industry is developing rapidly, and other countries are reaping the benefits. In Japan, drones have been used to spray crops for two decades. In Britain, drones are used to check the undersides of oil platforms, and real estate agents use them for promotional pictures. Germany, Australia and the United Arab Emirates are developing uses for the technology, from recording sporting events to delivering goods and documents.

With its history of aggressive innovation, the United States should be a leader, not a laggard, in adopting new technology. This should be especially true with drones, which have so much potential in such diverse fields as moviemaking, newsgathering, agriculture, defense and public safety. Just consider how great U.S. companies such as FedEx, UPS, Dominos and Amazon have changed how we get products. If drones are to be a part of breakthroughs in distribution, shouldn’t we want that innovation to occur here? We need the spin-off jobs, industries and benefits that drones will provide.

We cannot wait years for Congress and the FAA to approve regulations governing drones in our airspace. If we do, other nations will leapfrog us as innovators. Prolonged delay in the face of rapid technological change also means that rules risk being outmoded the day they’re issued. What is needed as soon as possible is a clear and straightforward policy framework that fosters innovation in this emerging industry.

In November, the FAA issued a road map laying the groundwork for integrating drones into commercial aviation. This is an encouraging sign, but it is not enough. Drones will transform the way we live. They can boost the economy and create thousands of jobs. All it will take is for the government to get out of the way and allow innovators to do what they do best.