‘Jacksonville, FL (January 26th, 2016) After several community workshops hosted by City Council Member Becton and many hours working together with representatives from IKEA on site plans and traffic impact issues with local residents, the retail store that is all the buzz is now on its way to becoming a reality. City Council approved the rezoning for Bill 2015-773 and IKEA can now begin the purchase and construction of this 25-acre site at 7801 Gate Parkway at the corner of I-295 East and Gate Parkway. This development has committed almost $36 million in construction costs to build a 294,203 square foot store creating over 500 construction jobs. Upon completion, IKEA will employ approximately 250 full and part-time workers at this specific location.
During this project’s review, several transportation improvements were discussed and planned as a requirement to get final approval. Intersection improvements for Gate Parkway and Point Meadows and enhanced turn lanes along Gate Parkway turning into IKEA were required for basic traffic mitigation. It was also required by CM Becton to create a long stacking lane going into IKEA’s main entrance coming from I-295 East going west. This long stacking lane will help keep IKEA customers from not interrupting the normal traffic flows on Gate Parkway West providing a major improvement to keep traffic moving during peak afternoon and weekend hours.
Other future plans call for the addition of Express Lanes on I-295 East going both North and South to assist in helping alleviate traffic in the area. Unfortunately, the Express Lane Project will not be finished by the fall 2017 projected opening of this store but hopefully prior to 2019.