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IKEA plans to open its Southside store in fall 2017.
Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Dec. 16, 201512:00 PM EST

IKEA firming up plans for Gate Parkway store

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IKEA is building toward its 2016 construction start in Southside at 7801 Gate Parkway.

Civil engineer Prosser Inc. submitted plans to the St. Johns River Water Management District and the city for approvals to develop the almost 25-acre site at northwest Interstate 295 and Gate Parkway.

Those plans show an almost 294,000-square-foot IKEA that can be expanded to 335,000 square feet. There also are plans for 934 parking spaces along with room for 50 bicycles.

Spokesman Joseph Roth said the company typically secures the appropriate governmental approvals for possible store expansion, but has no immediate plans to expand the Jacksonville store.

However, he said because the company purchases its land and builds its stores, it is committed to the long-term and must be prepared for any eventuality.

Roth said in the past five years it has expanded three stores in Texas, Massachusetts and Michigan.

IKEA takes potential expansion into account when it designs its stores, Roth said. Expansion could take place on either side, or both sides of a store. Usually it’s the warehouse side because it typically needs more bin space for customers to pick up their products.

Sweden-based IKEA announced in October it wanted to open at the site in fall 2017 and hire about 250 people.

Roth said it is targeting late summer or early fall for groundbreaking, pending approvals, construction drawings and permitting. It is still on track for a fall 2017 opening.

The store would feature nearly 10,000 exclusively designed items, 50 room-settings, three model home interiors, a supervised children’s play area and a restaurant.

IKEA, founded in 1943, sells home furnishings for assembly. It operates more than 370 stores in 47 countries, including 41 in the U.S.

It broke ground this month on its Memphis store, which should open in fall 2016.

The Jacksonville site is owned by HE Otter LLC and Charles Brightman Skinner Jr. Roth said IKEA is on track to close on the land purchase in late spring or early summer.

A rezoning for the property is under City Council review.

IKEA stands for the initials of founder Ingvar Kamprad and the farm and village, Elmtaryd and Agunnaryd, where he grew up.

Curry to NAIOP:¬†‘We’re doers’

Mayor Lenny Curry told Jacksonville commercial real estate professionals Tuesday his administration will make strides to improve Jacksonville.

“We’re doers,” he told the 225 people attending the NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Association Northeast Florida chapter.

Topping his to-do list is resolving the city’s almost $2.7 billion in pension debt, including $1.6 billion to the Police and Fire Pension Fund. He said the city’s annual payment to the system is taking funds that could be used for other purposes, including his priorities.

Those are public safety, infrastructure, economic development, neighborhoods, youth initiatives, and health and well-being, including mental health.

Curry said his two biggest issues are public safety and solving the pension problem. “If we don’t solve pension, all bets are off,” he said, promising that he is “not kicking the can down the road.”

Curry has been saying that he is working on a plan to reduce the city’s annual contributions to all of the pension funds, which would lower the city’s annual pension cost by around $100 million.

After Curry spoke for about 10 minutes, Cushman & Wakefield associate David Hillegas moderated a conversation that included questions and comments about the Jacksonville Journey, Google Fiber, JEA, state sales taxes, Downtown, EverBank Field improvements, One Spark and the truJAX branding effort.

Bailey’s adding¬†Philips Highway gym

Bailey’s Health & Fitness plans to open at Baymeadows Junction at 8206 Philips Highway, No. 1, joining the 15 Bailey’s centers in the market.

Y2K Construction Services Inc. plans a $102,000 build-out of 31,000 square feet for the fitness center.

According to baileysgym.com, the company operates 11 centers in Duval County and locations in Orange Park, Palatka, Gainesville and Brunswick, Ga.

Baymeadows Junction formerly leased space to Elements Athletic Club, which merged with Club Fitness of Mandarin.

Tiffany polishing up

Tiffany & Co. plans a $200,000 “visibility enhancement” of its St. Johns Town Center store.

The luxury jeweler wants to upgrade its exterior graphic displays, lights and finishes at 4834 River City Drive. Brodson Construction Inc. is the contractor.

It also wants to install new signs, but that will be under a separate permit.

Tiffany & Co. opened its Jacksonville store five years ago.

JU to honor Ken Burns

Jacksonville University will present its second Global Citizenship Award to documentary filmmaker, director and producer Ken Burns.

The Emmy winner will be honored Feb. 9 at the JU campus in Arlington.

A luncheon will be followed by a discussion and retrospective of his work and a preview of coming films.

Burns has created documentaries including “The Civil War,” “The Roosevelts,” “The Central Park Five” and “America.”

For information, email [email protected] or call the JU Office of University Advancement at (904) 256-7045.

[email protected]

@MathisKb

(904) 356-2466

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