From Home Furnishing Business
Ikea Spent Years to Find St. Louis Location
Home furnishings giant Ikea took nearly a decade to find the right location for its newly announced store set to open in St. Louis in 2015.
It took nearly a decade for Ikea to find the right spot for a store in St. Louis.
The Swedish retailer began scouting locations in the region in 2004 — well before it launched a search in Kansas City. Over the years, its local real estate broker, Pace Properties, analyzed more than 30 sites and took Ikea executives, including several from Sweden, to some of those places.
They honed in on the Highway 40 (Interstate 64) corridor, but they had trouble finding the exact site that was big enough and had the right dimensions for a store.
“When you’re only going to locate one store in a market, you want to make sure it’s the right location,” said Reed Lyons, real estate manager for Ikea’s proposed St. Louis store. “We’re going to be as patient as we need to be. We’re here for the long term.”
In the end, the world’s largest home furnishings retailer settled on a location that initially surprised some St. Louisans: the southwest corner of Forest Park and Vandeventer avenues in midtown within the Cortex bioscience district. Most Ikea stores are in the suburbs.
On Wednesday morning, Ikea officials wearing bright yellow shirts echoing the look of the retailer’s trademark yellow-and-blue stores stood in front of a backdrop of chic bookshelves and lamps and announced that the 380,000-square-foot store was slated to open in fall 2015. The two-story building will be constructed on stilts above a parking garage on the ground floor.
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Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch