Officials break ground on new IKEA

Posted 5/7/10

IKEA’s top management and most of the Centennial City Council donned hard hats and dug ceremonial shovels of dirt at the official groundbreaking …

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Officials break ground on new IKEA


IKEA’s top management and most of the Centennial City Council donned hard hats and dug ceremonial shovels of dirt at the official groundbreaking for the newest store to be launched by the popular Swedish furniture retailer.

At the May 4 ceremony that began construction of the first Colorado IKEA, Mayor Cathy Noon told an audience of officials, media and business leaders that the day’s events had marked a kind of milestone for the city.

“Bringing an IKEA store to the city of Centennial was the No. 1 comment made by our citizens,” Noon said of a comprehensive “visioning” document written by Centennial residents. “That was the one retail store specifically mentioned.”

The much-anticipated store will be located just west of I-25 between Dry Creek and County Line roads. IKEA’s 38th outlet in the United States is expected to open in the fall of 2011

Mike Ward, IKEA’s U.S. president, said the Centennial store would be the result of many years of learning for a corporation that was founded 67 years ago in a small Swedish village.

IKEA famously specializes in its own line of “flat pack” or ready-to-assemble furniture, which is sold at what are largely considered to be affordable prices. The reputation has sometimes been a double-edged sword for the large furniture retailer, it’s U.S. president said.

“We know a lot of people think we’re only good for college students. We know people think we’re only good for secondary areas of the home. We know people think we’re only good for the basement and storage, and we know we can bring more than that,” Ward said.

According to Ward, the store’s extensive inventory will offer 10,000 exclusively designed furnishings for four key areas of the home.

“And we’re going to be driving the prices lower and lower and lower,” he said.

The 415,000-square-foot store on about 13.5 acres will stand atop a two-level parking garage, said Doug Greenholz, the corporations’s U.S. real estate manager

“It will be a compact site, but it will work very efficiently, just like our stores do,” he said, noting that most IKEA stores have been built on much larger properties.

IKEA’s Centennial location will be the latest addition to a series of larger furniture stores to open near County Line Road in close proximity to Park Meadows. Directly adjacent to the property is a WOW furniture outlet that opened after IKEA announced its intentions.

Furniture stores like to flock together, explained Corri Spiegel, Centennial’s economic-development manager.

“There’s a synergy that’s created by a new customer base,” she said. “When you have 3,500 people a day who come here, there’s a whole new market that’s available to the home furnishings sector that wasn’t here pre-IKEA.”

The large, multi-level IKEA structure will employ about 400 people. It will be the first IKEA store in the United States to incorporate a geothermal component, meaning heat will be pumped either from or into the ground, depending on the weather.

The store will include a showroom, three complete model homes, an extensive accessories department, a children’s play area and a place to purchase Swedish-style food.

“IKEA is wonderful,” added Swedish-born Linda Nystrom, a member of the Swedish Women’s Education Association. “My house is going to look completely different. They’re nice, alternative, cool-looking furniture. So we’re taking a little piece of Sweden with us.”


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