OAK CREEK -- The wait is finally over. Wisconsin's first IKEA opens its doors on Wednesday in Oak Creek.
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The 293,000 square foot building began construction nearly a year ago and the celebration of its opening is going to be big.
The grand ceremony will start at 8:15 a.m. and the doors will officially open at 9 a.m.
Thousands of dollars will be raffled off at the opening. Customers in line before 8 a.m. will be entered for a chance to win a $500, $1,500 or $2,000 gift card.
Other giveaways include:
- A heart-shaped soft toy to the first 200 children 12-years and younger
- A "welcome" gift to the first 1,000 adults 18 and older
- Free IKEA FRAKTA blue bag with any in-store purchase
- Customers who join IKEA FAMILY or scan their card could win a $250 IKEA gift card
- $20 off a purchase of $100 for anyone who spends more than $125 on their IKEA FAMILY card from May 16-28
Oak Creek Mayor Dan Bukiewicz and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation came up with a traffic plan in anticipation of the thousands of people who will likely be going to the opening.
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To get to the store, drivers on I-94 Southbound should exit at Drexel, follow the westbound drivers and turn right onto South IKEA Parkway.
Drivers heading east on Drexel Avenue will not be able to turn left onto South IKEA Parkway. City officials suggest eastbound and I-94 drivers should go north on I-94 and exit at Rawson Avenue. Continue west and get on I-94 South, then exit at Drexel Avenue.
The city and police department have traffic updates up on their social media pages according to Oak Creek Police Department Captain Michael Bolender.
Electric and vinyl traffic signs will be up to help direct traffic before the official opening.
IKEA's parking lot opens at 5 a.m. However, there are only 1,100 parking spaces in the lot and store officials anticipate it will fill up.
To avoid arriving at a full parking lot, shoppers are encouraged to leave their cars at the College Avenue Park and Ride Lots and hop on the free shuttle to the store from there.
Shoppers are also bound to run into parents dropping off their kids at Forest Ridge Elementary School as the school shares the same road as the store. Parents will have special placards from IKEA allowing them to use the middle lanes on Drexel to turn onto South IKEA Parkway.
Oak Creek Police will be out helping enforce the new traffic flow.
The new store will feature 10,000 items, room settings, three model home interiors, a supervised children’s play area and a 300-seat restaurant.
IKEA anticipates over 1 million shoppers in the first year.