IKEA Oak Creek near completion, city officials hope more development will follow

Posted at 5:14 PM, Apr 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-04 11:40:45-04

Setup at the IKEA store in Oak Creek, which will be the furniture retailer's first store in Wisconsin, remains on track ahead of the May 16 grand opening. 

Store manager Samantha Gravina showed TODAY'S TMJ4 around the more than 290,000 square foot facility Tuesday afternoon. 

Once through the main entrance, shoppers will first notice a series of room displays showing what the furniture for sale looks like in different room settings. 

"You can feel what it might look like in your home, and be inspired," Gravina said. 

Gravina said many of the room displays are nearing completion. 

IKEA Oak Creek continues to receive shipments of home furnishing accessories, like lighting and glassware, and Gravina said large pieces of furniture like sofas and bookcases will be the final products to arrive before the grand opening next month. 

IKEA plans to employ approximately 275 full-time employees in Oak Creek.

Gravina said the store is still hiring for a handful of full-time jobs, as well as roughly 100 seasonal positions. 

"Those will be people who will help us from the grand opening through the end of the summer. There's the possibility some of them could transition into regular jobs," Gravina said.

Oak Creek Mayor Dan Bukiewicz said the economic benefit of IKEA's investment in Oak Creek will go beyond the jobs created. 

"IKEA will be a catalyst that will set off more development around it," the mayor said. 

Bukiewicz hopes to see a mix of additional retail, restaurants, and perhaps a hotel or convention center added to the area around the IKEA facility. 

"We have had some preliminary proposals along the expressway," Bukiewicz said. "Nothing is concrete yet. They're just conceptual." 

He said he'd like to see additional development west of the IKEA facility in the area between the store and 27th Street. 

"It's going to send ripples out developmentally, economically, that will touch everything from Milwaukee to all the communities out to the lake, and to Franklin and beyond," the mayor said.