As mentioned right here Monday night, IKEA is coming to Winnipeg! The rumours last month were running ramped of the Swedish furniture store setting up shop in our city. Now it looks like those rumours are a reality.
IKEA announced on Tuesday it plans to locate to Winnipeg between late 2011 and early 2013. The location of the store is said to be in the vicinity of Kenaston Boulevard or Sterling Lyon Parkway — just like ChrisD.ca reported in November. Numerous city employees were bound by non-disclosure agreements not to discuss IKEA’s plans for the city pending an announcement.
This is huge news for Winnipeg, especially for local IKEA aficionado and lobbyist, Justin Phillips, who created a Facebook group and garnished thousands of members to join him in his quest for getting the store here.
UPDATE: 9:32 a.m.
IKEA issued the following statement this morning via spokeswoman Madeleine Lowenborg-Frick:
“IKEA Canada announced today that it plans to open a store in Winnipeg, Manitoba sometime between late 2011 and early 2013. IKEA has signed an agreement to acquire a large piece of land at Kenaston Boulevard and Sterling Lyon Parkway, formerly part of the CN Intermodal Terminal, currently owned by Kenaston Intermodal Ltd. and 5083851 Manitoba Ltd. However, the future of an IKEA in Winnipeg is conditional upon Municipal and Provincial government approvals, and IKEA has accordingly now made formal application for amendments to Plan Winnipeg, and for suitable rezoning and subdivision of these lands. The IKEA store, approximately 350,000 square feet, will serve as an anchor in a retail development of up to 1,500,000 square feet, in which IKEA will also be the major development partner.
Planning is still in the preliminary stages and the IKEA site plans and project concept plans are expected to be ready for an open house in March 2009 to which the public will be invited and where they may review details of concept plans for the IKEA store and the project.
“We are continually reviewing expansion opportunities in Canada, and have for a long time considered Winnipeg as a key market for expansion,” says Kerri Molinaro, President, IKEA Canada. “If we are able to secure the approvals necessary to accommodate our needs, we will look forward to serving the Winnipeg market and are confident that we will have a positive impact on the community through job creation and service contracts.”
UPDATE: 10:15 a.m.
The Province of Manitoba and City of Winnipeg have issued their own press release regarding IKEA:
December 16, 2008
PROVINCE, CITY TO ACCELERATE CAPITAL PLANS AS PART OF PROPOSED IKEA SITE
The Province of Manitoba and City of Winnipeg will work together to accelerate the widening of Kenaston Boulevard and Sterling Lyon Parkway to meet the timelines of a proposed new Winnipeg Ikea site, Premier Gary Doer and Mayor Sam Katz said today.
The premier said the province will advance its share of capital funding to the city of up to $8 million for the projects. The widening of Kenaston Boulevard and Sterling Lyon Parkway is already included in the city’s Plan Winnipeg, but would be accelerated to accommodate Ikea’s development plans, pending a public rezoning process and open house that will take place this spring.
“Advancing already scheduled infrastructure will help this project move forward,” said Doer.
“The city has worked diligently to create an ‘open for business’ environment that attracts growth and positive developments like Ikea,” said Katz. “By accelerating existing infrastructure plans, we are encouraging smart responsible development and I am thrilled to see this major retail project transform from talk to action.”
We’ve also learned that IKEA will partner with local Winnipeg developer Fairweather Properties to make this project happen. Not only will IKEA be employing hundreds of Manitobans when they open, but they will be stimulating the economy right from the start when they begin construction. There will be a public open house forum taking place in March to show off preliminary plans for the project.
UPDATE: 12:20 p.m.
IKEA spokeswoman Madeleine Lowenborg-Frick spoke to CBC Radio One during their noon hour show on Tuesday. Listen to the interview below.