CLEARWATER TRIBUNE HOME
JANUARY 28, 2010
The “project of the decade”
Mall of Infinity business plans to open in Orofino
By Alannah Allbrett
Katherine Sell, formerly of California, now residing in Orofino, is changing the face of Orofino. In a proposal before the City Council Tuesday night, she submitted a business plan and packets to the press for a new business, Mall of Infinity, which is proposed to put 800 people in the State of Idaho to work – upwards of 300 of those in Orofino alone, where she says she will “hire the handicapped, dyslexic, and people without high school diplomas."
Through job training, in conjunction with the Department of Labor, her employees will get training and G.E.D.s necessary to fill these jobs.
Wages and benefits
Minimum wage will be $12.95 and high tech. jobs will pay up to $75 per hour. She said her employees will be well treated, have personal space at their desks, have 401k plans, receive life insurance, dental, and medical plans, enjoy paid vacations and holidays and work in a “clean industry.”
Type of business
Mall of Infinity is a virtual, Internet shopping mall where people can sign in online and shop securely – similar to Amazon which currently does $19.6 billion in annual revenues. ”We will pass them by our third year,” she said, due to giving customers assistance as they shop and overcoming “customer dissatisfaction that currently exists with other shopping sites.”
The mall is spiral in nature, meaning customers will see their local participating stores first, then Idaho, then the United States. Eventually, the company plans to be selling internationally in the 30 most common languages.
Mall of Infinity would require a call center, operating 24-7, with three shifts of workers manning the phones to assist customers. This call center will be built in the former Barnett-Thompson building located at 122 Johnson Avenue, Orofino, which Sell says will be raised to three stories.
Ms. Sell came to the Council asking their help and participation in facilitating the massive project. She has been in touch with the Building Official regarding current limitations on telecommunications towers on the proposed building and adjacent buildings. She said if there are problems, they need to be solved, as the company cannot go ever be allowed to go offline.
Power will come from Clearwater Power. Internet setup will require a T1 line from Verizon, and a T1 line for phone service. A generator will provide a backup source, and Verizon will create a diversified path to assure connectivity.
The business on Johnson Avenue will require 417 parking spaces. The company proposes to build a parking structure that fits in with the “look of the community.” “Workers’ shift hours can be staggered in off hours so as to not compete with present traffic patterns,” she said.
Ms. Sell said the biggest, immediate need will be adequate housing for employees. Her team is currently looking at properties on Hwy. 12 and other locations. She proposes to build an apartment complex with a swimming pool and gymnasium, and even envisions possibly converting that complex, someday, to a senior facility as her employees build or purchase homes of their own in the area.
Converting the building on Johnson
Plans are underway to convert the former car dealership building, pressure cleaning it; laying down a 2” concrete barrier, putting in polished concrete flooring, dropping the ceiling, and putting in offices for the workers. Above all, Ms. Sell said she wants it to be safe and does not want to hurt the community.
Banking for the project will be done through Sterling Savings and Loan in Lewiston who, Sell says, “gets it.” She hopes to have them open a branch in Orofino in the future. The company welcomes new investors. In 2015, they plan to go public and projects they will make a lot of people millionaires.
All Cities Mall, Inc., (the parent company) is made up of four companies: All Cities Mall, Inc., located in Idaho; Smedia, Inc., located in Wisconsin; Ingenux, located in Oklahoma; and MLMM Kft, located in Budapest, Hungary.
These companies are said to have the technology and expertise to produce the Mall of Infinity (and the three other malls that will follow) online by September 2010.
The technology they are using is so sophisticated it is said a customer can see a diamond sparkle before buying it. They plan to us 3-D technology on television in one of their final phases, projected for completion by 2015.
Also in partnership will be, The Community of Angels, Inc., a non-profit corporation (an affiliated division of Mall of Infinity). Two percent of all gross sales in the mall go to the Community of Angels. Funds will be dispersed back to the franchise community to be used at their discretion: food banks, fire victims, or other worthwhile projects. Town members will decide how money is to be best used
Katherine Sell calls this, “The project of the decade” and means it.