Construction of IKEA in Oak Creek on track for summer opening

It's expected to employ 250 people.

OAK CREEK -- Construction of the new IKEA store in Oak Creek remains on schedule. 

Company officials said Tuesday morning they continue to target an opening date sometime this summer. 

The more than 290-thousand square foot facility will be the first IKEA store in Wisconsin. 

It's expected to employ a total of 250 full-time and part-time workers. 

"We had a hiring blitz a couple of weeks ago, where we were able to hire about 100 people," said Tish Bracy, IKEA Public Affairs Manager. "We're still looking for about 150 more." 

She said IKEA expects to hold a large job fair in the area in late February. 

"It's always exciting when we're opening our first store in the area," Bracy said. 

Inside the store, spaces like model room displays, a restaurant, and a large warehouse are starting to take shape. 

"This is kind of a first look at what customers should expect to see here at IKEA," Bracy said. "Envision lots of furniture, and lots of colors." 

Samantha Gravina, who currently manages the IKEA store in Bolingbrook, Illinois, will manage the Oak Creek facility. 

She said IKEA's Oak Creek store is expected to draw about 2.4 million customers each year - comparable to the business in Bolingbrook. 

Gravina added customers are expected to come not only from the Milwaukee area, but also from portions of Northern Illinois and other parts of Wisconsin. 

"We do also expect to pull quite a bit of people from the Madison area," Gravina said. "They were frequent customers down in Chicago, and we're hoping this will be much more convenient for them.”

Officials at IKEA said the next construction milestone will be the placing of solar panels on the store's roof. Electric car chargers will also be installed in the parking lot. 

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