The official groundbreaking of the new 291,000 square foot IKEA took place in Oak Creek Thursday.
“Forty-four franchises in the US and Oak Creek lands one of them, it’s like getting an NBA or NFL franchise in your backyard,” said Mayor Dan Bukiewicz.
The store—which is slated to open in Summer of 2018—will feature 10,000 items, room settings, three model home interiors, a supervised children’s play area and a 300 seat restaurant.
It will add to the 44 IKEA stores already in the US. The company says it already has 210,000 Milwaukee area customers shopping at their stores in Schaumburg, Illinois and Bloomington, Minnesota.
The company says 500 workers will be hired to build the store and another 250 to work in it when completed. IKEA says many of the employees will be eligible for benefits, even after working just 20 hours a week.
“IKEA does not just open stores anywhere or often, but when we do we commit to the long term,” said IKEA Public Affairs Manager Joseph Roth.
The city has heard concerns about traffic in the area near an elementary school but Bukiewicz said, “We did some studies on their business, it’s primarily weekend business…as well as the summertime when school is out.”
IKEA has 390 stores in 48 countries.