Streetsboro -- Streetsboro's single largest empty retail store -- the old Walmart building -- may soon have a new owner, Streetsboro Economic Development Director Bill Bishilany told members of the Streetsboro Area Chamber of Commerce Aug. 14 at Woodside Lake Park Campground.
Nothing is finalized, but an existing Streetsboro business is planning to move its operations to the 103,432-square-foot facility on Route 14, said Bishilany. The business also is in the process of buying the Walmart property, he said.
"We are really hoping that within a month we will know whether that project is actually going to move forward," he said. "We haven't really received any negatives about it. There's considerable renovation that would have to go into the old building."
The city also has found at least one other company interested in moving into the 14,000-square-foot building that would be vacated by the move to WalMart, according to Bishilany.
Because the deal is not finalized, he declined to name either of the companies involved in the moves, which he said could net the city an additional 15 to 20 jobs.
"Until the deal is done, it's not done," he said.
The company considering the move to the old Walmart site would use the facility to accommodate warehousing and distribution functions, said Bishilany.
"They have a tremendous e-commerce business, so their distribution side and warehouse side are creating a huge demand," he explained. "They love Streetsboro. Their employees are all from here, and I think that's why they decided to stay in Streetsboro."
Another business developing in Streetsboro is Zip City, which is under construction at a site one lot south of Big Dee's Tack and Vet Supplies on Route 43.
"That's an inside zip line building," Bishilany said. "The walls are actually padded, and the bottom is a trampoline, and you're just in there winging dodge balls at each other, so that should be lots of fun."
He said it's possible the business may open in time for Christmas, but it may be later.
Bishilany also said a Panera restaurant is in the works for the outparcel north of GetGo off Route 43, at the bottom of the hill from the city square.
"They're trying very hard to get this under way before winter," he said.
The city also is in talks with Hattie Larlham about a possible facility, which Jacqueline LoPresti, a media relations coordinator with Hattie Larlham, confirmed. However, she said, "there's nothing definitive yet."
Harbor Freight, a retailer that sells tools to consumers, and O'Reilly's, an auto parts retailer, also are considering opening stores within the city, said Bishilany.
In a couple months, he said he would have a better idea whether those two stores will be coming to Streetsboro.
While working to attract new businesses, Bishilany said he and Mayor Glenn Broska also have been visiting existing businesses, trying to stay apprised of their needs.
"One of the services we, as a city, are trying to provide to our companies, is to listen and hopefully provide assistance where we can," he said.
One of the things businesses seem to need is employees, he added. The city's industrial companies are looking to hire for a variety of positions, from machine workers to software engineers.
"There's really a lot of opportunity locally," he said. "Step2 has 21 positions open right now, mostly for machine operators."
MicroPoise and Delta Systems also are looking to fill positions, he said.
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