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An architectural rendering of the Ikea store to be developed at 7801 Gate Parkway.

IKEA investing nearly $36M in Town Center store set to open in fall 2017

By Karen Brune Mathis, Managing Editor

Ikea will invest almost $36 million into its Jacksonville location, which the globally popular Sweden-based furniture retailer expects will open in fall 2017.

The Town Center area store will feature almost 10,000 exclusively designed items, 50 room-settings, three model home interiors, a supervised play area for children and a 325-seat restaurant serving Swedish specialties such as meatballs with lingonberries and salmon plates, as well as American dishes.

Ikea paid $13 million in May for the 25-acre site at 7801 Gate Parkway at northwest Interstate 295 and Gate Parkway.

It also applied for a building permit for the 294,203-square-foot store in June that shows a construction cost of almost $22.7 million.

Furnishings, equipment and other costs, not to mention inventory, will boost that investment to more than $36 million.

Ikea said Thursday it will break ground in November on the store, which it announced two years ago. It said at the time it would start construction this summer and complete it in fall 2017, so the project appears to be closely on track.

Ikea also announced the construction team Thursday.

Lakeland-based Marcobay Construction Inc. will be the construction manager for the site work and store development project.

The CBRE real estate firm provided site selection work; Prosser Inc. is the civil and traffic engineer; Bushra Tsai Inc. is the structural engineer; RPM Engineers Inc. provided mechanical, electrical and plumbing design; Universal Engineering Sciences provided geotechnical services; Environmental Services Inc. and Gemini Engineering handled environmental resources; GreenbergFarrow is the development coordinator; Driver, McAfee, Peek & Hawthorne was the local land-use counsel; and Ware Malcomb is the project architect.

Ikea said again that more than 500 jobs will be created during the construction phase and about 250 workers will be hired to staff the location. The store will have 950 parking spaces.

Job openings will be posted in the spring at IKEA-USA.com.

A second phase could add more than 40,000 square feet of space.

It will be the fifth Ikea in the state and the first in Northeast Florida. The others are in Orlando, Tampa, Sunrise and Sweetwater, serving Central and South Florida. There are more than 380 Ikea stores in 48 countries, including 42 in the United States.

Ikea was founded in 1943, offering home furnishings for customer assembly at low prices. Assembly service is available for a fee. Its U.S. base is in Conshohocken, Penn.

It sells residential, office, retail and hospitality furnishings as well as lighting, textiles, rugs, decorations, cookware and more. It also sells children’s and baby furniture.

Membership in the Ikea Family loyalty program is free.

Ikea’s menu shows it is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner at the Restaurant and Bistro and stocks the Swedish Food Market for take-home meals and other food.

A current Food Market special is three bags of Swedish, chicken or veggie meatballs for $19.99, down from a regular price of $24-$27.

At the restaurant, the current special is a chicken breast stuffed with apples and brie cheese along with mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables at $5.99 for members and $7.99 for nonmembers.

You can buy two hot dogs and a soda for $2.

It also posts recipes in case you want to make Ikea dishes at home, such as veggie balls with tomato and spinach or waffles Benedictine.

This summer, Ikea was in the news for a recall in the U.S. and Canada of almost 35 million chests and dressers after six fatalities of toddlers who were pinned or trapped after chests tipped over on them. Ikea also received reports of injuries.

According to the Reuters news service, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said the chests or dressers could topple over if not anchored securely to walls, posing a threat.

None of the furnishings in the fatal incidents had been anchored to a wall. As part of the recall, Reuters said Ikea was offering refunds or a free wall-anchoring kit.

Ikea has sold about 147.4 million chests of drawers globally since 1998, Reuters said.

kmathis@jaxdailyrecord.com

@MathisKb

(904) 356-2466

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