Kansas City here Ikea comes

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. — Ikea has received the green light from Merriam’s city council to go ahead with its Kansas City-area store.

Pending the land purchase, permits and demolition of on-site buildings, construction of Ikea Merriam can begin summer 2013, with the store opening fall 2014.

Located eight miles southwest of Kansas City, Missouri, the 349,000-sq.-ft. store will be built along the eastern side of Interstate-35 at the Johnson Drive exit on 18 acres to be purchased from DDR Corp. One level of parking below the store, a two-level parking structure and spaces accessible at-grade will provide more than 1,200 parking spaces on-site. Ikea is also evaluating potential on-site power generation to complement its current U.S. renewable energy presence at 90% of its U.S. locations.

“IKEA is thrilled and honored at the support voiced by Merriam City officials and staff in favor of our opening a Kansas City-area store in fall 2014,” said Ikea U.S. president Mike Ward. “We look forward to bringing our unique shopping experience closer to the 60,000 customers already in the area, to introducing new customers to the IKEA concept, to hiring 300 coworkers and to creating more than 500 construction jobs.”

The Merriam location will 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 area in the showroom, baby care rooms, preferred parking and play areas throughout the store. In addition to the more than 500 jobs that are expected to be created during the construction phase, approximately 300 jobs at the store would be available upon opening. Ikea Merriam also would provide significant annual sales and property tax revenue for local governments and schools.

Globally, Ikea evaluates locations regularly for conservation opportunities, integrates innovative materials into product design, works to maintain sustainable resources and flat-packs goods for efficient distribution. Specific U.S. sustainable efforts include recycling waste material; incorporating environmental measures into the actual buildings with energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, skylights in warehouse areas and water-conserving restrooms; and operationally, eliminating plastic bags from the check-out process, phasing-out the sale of incandescent light bulbs, facilitating recycling of customers’ compact fluorescent bulbs and by 2016 selling and using only LED bulbs. Ikea also is in the process of rolling out solar energy installations atop nearly 90% of its U.S. locations, and has installed electric vehicle charging stations at nine stores in the West.