Metro-East News

Amazon celebrates “Day One” in metro-east

New employees at one of Amazon’s fulfillment centers are welcomed to their first day of work Aug. 24 by members of the online retailer’s local leadership team.
New employees at one of Amazon’s fulfillment centers are welcomed to their first day of work Aug. 24 by members of the online retailer’s local leadership team.

Employees hired to work in one of Amazon’s two new fulfillment centers in Edwardsville got on the job Aug. 24.

According to a statement from the online retailer, the employees in one of the two centers will pick, pack and ship smaller items like electronics, books and toys. The other center handles bigger products like televisions and kayaks.

One of the centers is operational while the second is not ready yet. But the buildings are huge — 700,000 square feet apiece — and will employ around 1,000 workers between them.

Amazon is still hiring for positions at the sites, but, according to a spokesperson, it’s unclear how many of the 1,000 or so jobs have been filled and how many remain open.

Another Starbucks planned in Edwardsville

Edwardsville’s third Starbucks location will be built as part of a hotel development near the SIUE campus.

That’s according to engineering designs filed with the city by Thouvenot, Wade & Moerchen, Inc., which show a 2,101-square-foot Starbucks cafe will sit adjacent to the planned Mariott TownePlace Suites at the corner of Illinois 157 and Center Grove Road, just over a mile east of the heart of SIUE.

The new Starbucks will go up in the parking lot of the planned five-floor, 91-room extended-stay hotel Marriott announced it would build in February.

One of the city’s two current Starbucks is located at 6680 Edwardsville Crossing Drive. The other is inside the Morris University Center at SIUE.

Ordinance for Fairview storage site withdrawn

Vacant ground on Longacre Drive in Fairview Heights could soon be developed into a self-storage complex, but an ordinance to approve the plan was withdrawn during the Fairview Heights City Council’s Sept. 6 meeting.

City aldermen had been considering a plan by JQP Properties, LLC to build Safe Lock Storage on land that sits east of the Longacre Ponds apartments and west of the Lincoln Place II Shopping Center.

Mayor Mark Kupsky said he believed JQP sought withdrawal in order to revise their plans.

Current plans indicate the complex would be made up of nine buildings in all, with 45,700 square feet of the built space to be used for storage and an additional 6,200 square feet to be used as office space and as a manager’s quarters.

Papers filed with the city do not indicate how much the facility would cost to build.

JQP representatives could be reached.

Proposed juice bar cafe gets approval

A vacant building near Lindenwood University in Belleville will soon become a juice bar that also serves sandwiches, snacks and salads.

Belleville aldermen during their last regular meeting approved a zoning variance allowing Natalie Kelsey to operate the juice bar and cafe at 2801 W. Main St., which is just a couple blocks west of the campus.

Kelsey said the building needs lots of work, but once it’s done she hopes it will attract students who live and attend classes nearby.

Kelsey and her husband, Dr. Sekou Kelsey, hope to supply some of the food served in the cafe from a farm they’ll soon operate.

The juice bar and cafe doesn’t have a name yet, but it could open as early as next spring.

Tobias Wall: 618-239-2501, @Wall_BND