You can see Ikea now, and it's big

The almost 300,000-square-foot Ikea store skeleton dominates northwest Interstate 295 and Gate Parkway. It should be completed in the fall.
The almost 300,000-square-foot Ikea store skeleton dominates northwest Interstate 295 and Gate Parkway. It should be completed in the fall.
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Ikea is hard to miss.

The skeleton of the 290,000-square-foot store is up at Interstate 295 and Gate Parkway.

Lakeland-based Marcobay Construction Inc. is the construction manager for the 25-acre site and store development project for the home-furnishings chain.

In addition to the more than 500 jobs that Ikea said would be created during construction, it expects to hire 250 employees to staff the store.

Spokesman Joseph Roth said Wednesday manager-level jobs probably will be posted soon and the bulk of the jobs will be posted mid-summer at and

Roth said there still is no opening date set. The Sweden-based company has said only that it will open in the fall.

The company’s stores often are considered destination attractions because of their size and selection of assemble-it-yourself products. The nearest Ikea to Jacksonville is a 2-hour drive to Orlando.

For a sense of how many customers the Jacksonville store might handle, consider that the location was designed with 950 parking spaces.

Ikea said its Gate Parkway store, which is near St. Johns Town Center, 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 for the site at 7801 Gate Parkway. The building permit for the 294,203-square-foot store shows a construction cost of almost $22.7 million.

That investment will increase based on the furnishings, equipment, inventory and other costs.

Ikea broke ground on the site in November, a year after announcing the deal. A second phase could add more than 40,000 square feet of space.

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, Pa. There currently are more than 392 Ikea stores in 48 countries, including 43 in the U.S.

Ikea 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.

Its restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and it also stocks the Swedish Food Market for take-home meals and other food.

Ikea is one of several developments along Gate Parkway. Southside Quarter, the Town Center One office building and Gateway Village at Town Center also are planned -- or already under development -- joining the existing commercial and residential developments in the area.

Acorn Property assigns leasing to NAI Hallmark

Acorn Property Holdings said it awarded the exclusive leasing assignment of its Northeast Florida portfolio to NAI Hallmark Partners. The 12-building portfolio totals more than 900,000 square feet among office buildings.

The buildings primarily are in Southside and two are at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine.

NAI Hallmark Partners said it added Joe Scavetto to lead the office leasing team on the portfolio.

Hyperion on tap for May opening

Hyperion Brewing Co. scheduled its grand opening for May 19 at 1740 N. Main St. in Springfield, north of Downtown.

It’s next to Carl’s Main Street Restaurant.

Owner Alexandra McKeown said Hyperion will be Jacksonville’s first nano-brewery, which means it brews on a small scale.

It will serve a rotating tap list without a core group of beers, she said in a news release. “Our goal is to let the public decide what our core beers should be,” she said.

Hyperion Brewery will have 15 taps with a limited selection of its own beers.

The Jax Beer Bus will ferry guests from the Green Brewing Co. in Jacksonville Beach on grand-opening night for $15 round-trip.

Opening festivities tap into the Historic Springfield Tour of Homes hosted May 20-21 by Springfield Preservation and Revitalization.

The Malle Co. Inc. is the contractor for the $178,220 project to renovate more than 3,000 square feet for Hyperion. That space is the first phase of the 5,500-square-foot project.

Plans show a brew house, tasting bar and seating.

Sease retiring from CSX

CSX Corp. spokesman Gary Sease, who has been fielding media questions for the Jacksonville-based company about its management job cuts, is taking a bow himself.

After 31 years with the railroad, Sease will retire May 1. He is vice president of corporate communications.

Sease started his career 45 years ago with Florida Publishing Co. He began as a reporter at The Florida Times-Union and later worked for United Press International before joining CSX in 1986.

Sease said he will serve in a transition role until May 1. He said Rob Doolittle, based in Washington, D.C., will head the media team as assistant vice president of corporate communications. Tori Kaplan has succeeded Sease as vice president of communications and field support, an adjusted title.

CSX completed the cut of 800 management jobs, including 500 in Jacksonville, the day that new CEO Hunter Harrison came onboard. Harrison is known as a railroad cost-cutter and a turnaround expert.

Sease said March 8 that CSX concluded its involuntary separation program March 6.

The program was announced Feb. 21. Sease said all management employees who were leaving under the program are receiving enhanced benefits that include outplacement services.

He said about half of the 500 employees in Jacksonville were eligible for retirement and elected to take the enhanced severance package provided under the program.

Sease said he and his wife would develop their golf game.

Development notes

• Foundation construction was approved for Goo-Goo 3 Minute Express Wash at 5064 Weebers Crossing Drive in The Crossing at Town Center. The Angelo Group Inc. is building the $1.9 million project.

• Pet Supermarket Inc. applied for a Certificate of Use for a 6,900-square-foot store at 4490 Southside Blvd.

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