After much speculation, Ikea, a Swedish retailer of home furnishings, announced at a press conference this morning that the company is submitting plans to the City of St. Louis for a local store.
Located in the heart of Midtown St. Louis, the 380,000-square-foot proposed Ikea store would be built along the northern side of I-64/Highway 40 near the Vandeventer Avenue exit, a company press release said. The store would sit on nearly 21 acres purchased in the Cortex Innovation District. One level of parking below the store and spaces accessible at-grade would provide approximately 1,250 parking spaces on-site. Store plans reflect the same unique architectural design for which IKEA stores are known worldwide. Ikea also will evaluate potential on-site renewable power generation. The store is projected to open in the fall of 2015.
IKEA St. Louis would feature nearly 10,000 exclusively designed items, 50 inspirational room-settings, three model home interiors, a supervised children's play area, and a 450-seat restaurant serving Swedish specialties, such as meatballs with lingonberries and salmon plates, as well as American dishes. Other family-friendly features include a Children's Ikea area in the showroom, baby care rooms, preferred parking and play areas throughout the store.
"We look forward to continue growing our Midwestern U.S. presence with Ikea St. Louis," said Ikea U.S. president Mike Ward. "This dynamic location would provide the already 101,000 St. Louis-area customers a store of their own and introduce the unique Ikea shopping experience to other consumers in Eastern Missouri, Southern Illinois and beyond."
Currently, the closest Ikea stores are in Chicago. A Kansas City-area store is expected to open in fall 2014.