Amazon appears to have flanked Akron with a second, albeit much smaller, fulfillment center.

The delivery station, located across from the headquarters of Acme Fresh Market on Gilchrist Road in Akron, was not mentioned Monday when Amazon publicly claimed the secret development of a massive distribution warehouse on Romig Road at the former Rolling Acres Mall site.

The online retail company confirmed the second location Wednesday through a public relations firm used to make the splashier Romig Road announcement earlier in the week. The two facilities near Barberton and Mogadore will fill delivery gaps in Amazon’s ever-expanding network of sorting, storage and distribution centers.

The Gilchrist facility’s footprint and projected employment is a fraction of the figures announce Monday.

At four floors of 700,00 square feet each, the Romig Road facility will start hiring 1,500 employees when completed in the summer or fall of 2020.

At 45,000 square feet, the Gilchrist Road location is designed to handle the “last mile of delivery” in the logistics chain. The company will employ 200 people there, according to the city of Akron, which was contacted weeks ago to help recruit job applicants.

Amazon did not contact the Beacon Journal/Ohio.com to make local residents aware of job opportunities at the second location, which has been hiring for two months. Job listings first appeared on websites like ZipRecruiter.com in May.

The city and county said no local tax incentives were given for this second, smaller location.

Information was not immediately available Wednesday about when the Gilchrist Road location will open or if it's already operational.

Though unannounced, Amazon's presence on Gilchrist Road was no secret to anyone driving the industrial corridor between Mogadore and Akron. Before turning onto Kennedy Road, signs point toward the facility on the corner, announcing “Amazonians Start Here” or “Amazon Office” or “Amazon Associates.” At the entrance, another folding sign carries the company’s employee credo: “Work Hard. Have Fun. Make History.”

An “Amazon Fulfillment” poster welcomes visitors into a front entrance. Lockers line the wall beyond locked double doors, which are opened by a keycard. Empty chairs and tables line a “Driver Training Room” at the other side of the main lobby, which has no receptionist or receptionist's desk.

An evacuation plan posted in the vestibule details the layout of the entire facility, including what appear to be two U-shaped conveyor belts, tow motors and robotic shelving. Tractor-trailers unload on docks in the rear of the building, guided by spotless orange barriers on shiny blacktop with fresh white striping.

The facility was once a warehouse for the Keebler and Kellog companies. It was built in 1963 for telephone repair equipment.

Snellprop LLC, which is listed to multiple businesses, bought the property for $1.2 million in 2013. The limited liability company sold to Akron 530 LLC on July 19 for $3,265,157.

The sale was facilitated by National Safe Harbor Exchanges Inc., according to documents filed with the Summit County Fiscal Office. The company created Akron 530 LLC in June, according to state business filings.

A woman picked up the phone at the Arizona-based company's headquarters Wednesday. She said National Safe Harbor Exchanges doesn’t actually own the property; it just “holds titles” for “1031 exchanges," which are named after a section of the Internal Revenue Service code that allows the investors to defer any taxes on capital gains from property sales.

 

Reach Doug Livingston at dlivingston@thebeaconjournal.com or 330-996-3792.