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Enough With The IKEA Rumors

March 14, 2013 Big Box, Featured, Media, Planning & Design, Retail 37 Comments

Having worked in real estate I learned not to spend the sales commission until after the deal was closed. Blogging is similar.

ABOVE: Ikea in Bolingbrook, IL
ABOVE: Ikea in Bolingbrook, IL was built in 2006 on a 23 acre site

On Sunday nextSTL.com got many St. Louis IKEA fans excited:

Several WhoLou sources are alleging that highly-coveted Swedish-based furniture chain Ikea intends to develop their first St. Louis store close to the campus of St. Louis University. The 300,000 sq. ft. store will allegedly be built near the Laclede Gas and Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center complexes on Forest Park Ave. between Sarah Street and Vandeventer Ave.

While IKEA does have some inner-city locations, most are in suburban sprawl. IKEA contributes to sprawl.

The next day the Post-Dispatch had a story saying the rumor was untrue:

Responding to the nextstl.com post, [Ikea spokesman] Roth said Monday: “We still have not committed to a time frame, let alone a specific site.” The chain has not listed St. Louis among the cities where it plans to open a store. “Nothing has changed,” Roth said. “We continue to evaluate opportunities in the market,” he said. (stltoday.com)

Online many were excited when they saw the original rumor, repeated on KMOV, Fox2, KPLR, but disappointed when IKEA officials said no deal to build a St. Louis store.

I have no doubt that local commercial real estate brokers are talking to every big retail chain to try to lure them to various sites. These retailers might even show some initial interest in one site or another. But until something is signed I feel it’s too premature to report.

— Steve Patterson


Currently there are "37 comments" on this Article:

  1. Scott Jones says:

    IKEA: selling the same type of cheap furniture sold @ Target & other discount retails but the names are Swedish so people think it’s cool.

    • Ikea sells a lot more than cheap furniture, and some of it gets quite pricey. A lot of it is better design quality than you’d find at your local target (who borrow some of the ikea looks)

    • RyleyinSTL says:

      The notion that IKEA furniture is wholly comparable to what is found at Target is just not correct. IKEA sells products that cover many different prices ranges, yes some is inexpensive, but in those cases it is always better quality than what Target has to offer (for the same price) and much, much, much better designed from an aesthetic perspective (which I will admit may not be a priority for a “meat and potatoes” Midwesterner type). Target sells whatever stock furniture items they can find cheap at a Chinese factory, IKEA also buys cheap (Eastern Europe mostly, I think) but all their stuff is designed by them.

      • Scott Jones says:

        The design is nice aesthetically but I find the quality to be low–lots of particle board and laminate. Just my opinion.

        • moe says:

          And don’t forget that with that particle board and laminate are very earth-destroying chemicals. Interesting to note that the picture used is a VERY car-centric building. Not very urban at all. Oh but since it’s IKEA, I guess that’s ok.

          • samizdat says:

            The potential off-gassing notwithstanding, particle board and laminates have a significantly smaller impact to forests than solid-wood furniture. There are estimates that anywhere from 75% to 90% of tropical hardwoods are illegally logged, with those advocating for enforcement of logging laws frequently coming to know the wrong end of a gun, i.e., they’re dead.

            I have to agree with you regarding the form of their stores, seeing as how most of them–with the exception of the Brooklyn (?), NY store being housed in an old industrial structure–cover huge footprints. As well, the clear-height ceilings these stores use are HUGE wastes of energy, in addition to the mass of parking, which leads to large volumes of run-off when it rains. For which the various sewer districts across the country–MSD here–must accommodate, by law. I think we can both guess that WalMart, Target, IKEA, et al, do not have to pay fees/fines for this run-off. Although here in the STL, MSD did institute a fee structure for this, but that was struck down in court. Unfortunately, a little bird told me that eventually, MSD’s prices would most likely climb to 100USD/mon. in the future, due to the lack of funding from the Feds. (Thank you, Republican fruitcakes)

        • RyleyinSTL says:

          “lots of particle board and laminate”

          Agreed….but as far as that goes they do make some of the best.

  2. guest says:

    Rumors on the internet, whaa? That never happens. And to think all those major media outlets ran with the story. Bizarre, huh?

  3. RyleyinSTL says:

    As for the story at hand…I think a city IKEA would be great overall.

    Jobs, check. Taxes, check (mostly sales taxes at first as I’m sure they city will cut a deal on the other). Urban renewal via street and infrastructure improvements around development site, check. Influx of STL county visitors which might spend more $$$ in the city, check.

    My only pause is that no IKEA development I have ever seen has been all that wonderful within an urban context. Even if the building is built to the street with parking underground you still have this big blue, mostly windowless, box facing the street. Question is: is that better than what exists there now?

  4. It’s not a rumor that Ikea’s partner, Pace Properties, is working with the city to bring Ikea to the Forest Park site. It’s a fact. Whether it comes to fruition or not, is another story. Why so bitter, Steve?

    • I don’t see the point of constantly reporting early and ongoing discussions. As I indicated, in real estate many discussions happen that never materialize.

      • tpekren says:

        I don’t see the point of having a blog if it can’t present what is actually being discussed and not being discusses by who, what and where. Some legitimate facts were presented and the blog is giving a forum for people to discuss, speculate and/or roll their eyes.

        • GMichaud says:

          I find most blogs to be vanity blogs, that is, if you disagree with the owner(s) you are persona non grata, nextSTL for instance. On the other hand I would say Steve is centered and has a strong enough sense of self he listens to and welcomes all opinions and information.

          That being said, I agree that if someone is willing to take the time, even to repeat previous discussions (discussions that not every reader will have been privy to), then they should be allowed to have a say. Let’s face it, while it takes time to run this and other blogs, the comments also represent a time commitment.

          The only thing that should be controlled is hateful, vicious talk, other than that I am glad Steve seems to let everyone have their say, and has for years.

          If it is an argument or info I have already seen, I can skip over it, pretty simple.

          • tpekren says:

            Thats funny, i comment all the time on Nextstl and like Steve’s blog freely express my thoughts. Lot of times I don’t agree with Alex as I don’t agree with Steve. So I’m I a persona non grata at both sites? or both sites Vanity blogs?

          • GMichaud says:

            You must say the right things to gain approval at nextSTL. Without going into detail at one point I was told by your buddy Alex my comments were detrimental to the conversation. This happened even though I was pretty well the only one commenting at that juncture and was offering (perhaps radical) alternative views to the main ideas of the post.

            Ask them about what happened, I can handle any critiques of what I am saying, but trying to dismiss me by insulting me is hardly the way to run a blog.

            Nextstl is not worth the effort to get involved in, if you think so, go for it. I haven’t been back to the site. It is poorly managed by a few yippes who think they are better than everyone else.
            Steve on the other hand lets everyone have their say. He isn’t insulting people because they don’t agree with the premise of his posts. He will disagree of course, but he focuses on ideas and creates a dialogue as a result. There is a vast difference in the approaches. Yes, nextSTL is a vanity blog.

          • Bottom line, nextSTL welcomes diverse perspectives and doesn’t moderate unless there has been some form of abuse (which is quite rare). Given how easily GMichaud is to speak poorly of folks he doesn’t know lends some credence that he very well may have been abusive. Anyway, i’s all water under the bridge now… As for Steve, he’s got a personal axe to grind and that’s fine.

          • I don’t have an axe to grind, I simply share my thoughts. I’d rather not see media butting into business, potentially jeopardizing the deal.

          • That’s funny, your article mentioned nothing of that.

          • GMichaud says:

            The only abuse was on the part of nextSTL, maybe you shouldn’t speak about things of which you know nothing. I outlined the response I was given above, sounds like you’re the one with an ax to grind.

        • Land deals are best kept private until the parties reach a deal, nothing like trying to announce a retailer’s plan to enter a new market before they’ve finalized the deal. I’m personally willing to wait until they finally announce their intentions to analyze the location and how the site plan can be improved.

          • tpekren says:

            Yes, agree the parties involved do best to keep business to themselves. It makes a lot of sense in real estate. But it is not a responsiblility of news source, blog to keep it private if some one willing providing or disclosing information. Guess what, the developer or business might have a decision to make. Do they keep or do they fire the person who can’t keep his or her mouth shut?

          • Businesses also sometimes leak information if it can help them.

      • Here goes… The media tends to report on topics of public interest and whether one likes Ikea or not, it’s clear there’s a fair amount of interest in this story. Of course the deal may not materialize, but that’s not the point. It’s being actively worked. Sorry, but this blog post makes little sense.

    • tom jacobs says:

      I live in the county, and I would never consider traveling into the city, especially around Forest Park, to purchase furniture. I have shopped at Ikea in Texas, and I have found their furniture to be upper-end Target quality, with some interesting twists. But I’m afraid that, even if they nearly gave it away, I wouldn’t risk venturing into the city–around Forest Park– for a shopping expedition. Never. Won’t.

  5. JZ71 says:

    If I were a betting man, I’d put my bets on somewhere in the Chesterfield Valley. The location between St. Charles County (continued growth) and the city, just off a major freeway, would attract customers from both markets, plus there’s plenty of available land for the big, blue box, either at, or next to, one of the new outlet malls. Other potential locations include Hadley Township, the city public works yard (off Hampton), the Bottle District (north of downtown, with McKee’s involvement), the Chrysler plant site in Fenton or one of the sites in the Earth City / Maryland Heights / Lambert corridor along I-70. Like everything else in real estate, it boils down to location, location, location, and when it comes to Ikea, freeway access and, to a lesser degree, visibility. The reality is that few of their customers will be trying to get their purchases home on public transit, no different than Carol House, Ashley or Weekends Only.

    • samizdat says:

      As someone noted over @ nextSTL, there are stores in urban areas and elsewhere which are miles from the nearest Interstate.

      • They’ve made exceptions to their standard model in cases where it makes sense to do so, Like KC, I think a St. Louis IKEA will be a newer edge development.

  6. Brad Mello says:

    Yum – horse meat Swedish meatballs!

    • As a vegetarian for 20+ years I prefer “Mr EDibles” horse-flavored soy meat alternative. I hear they’re introducing a Swedish meatball flavor too!


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