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Jacksonville, FL (April 5, 2017) Councilman Becton received an exclusive invitation from Joseph Roth, with IKEA’s Corporate Expansion and Property Public Affairs to witness the first blue panel installation on April 5, 2017 a milestone for which IKEA celebrates. The installation of the iconic blue composite panels is a construction milestone that keeps the store on track to open fall 2017, and reflects the unique architectural design for which IKEA stores are known worldwide. The 290,000-square-foot proposed IKEA store and its 950 parking spaces will be built on 25 acres along the northwestern corner of Interstate 295 and Gate Parkway in District 11. The following are remarks from IKEA management on this event.

“With IKEA Jacksonville taking shape and blue paneling going up, we continue to be on track for a grand opening this fall,” said Lars Peterson, IKEA U.S. president. “We hope to be enclosed in summer, and cannot wait for the building’s interior to look like an IKEA store as well. We know there are many customers in the area who are excited for us to open, including those driving long distances to shop at our other stores, as well those who have yet to experience the unique IKEA shopping concept.”

IKEA Jacksonville will feature nearly 10,000 exclusively designed items, 50 inspirational room-settings, three model home interiors, a supervised children’s play area, and a 325-seat restaurant serving Swedish specialties such as meatballs with lingonberries and salmon plates, as well as American dishes. Other family-friendly features include a ‘Children’s IKEA’ area in the Showroom, baby care rooms, and play areas throughout the store.

For Jacksonville, IKEA is investing almost $36 million dollars and employing over 500 construction workers at this location and will provide annual sales and property tax revenue for our local government and schools. The store will employ about 250 workers for this location and opportunities will start to be advertised as early as this summer for candidates interested in positions at the Jacksonville store. Councilman Becton remarked that he will post links to the IKEA website once the company announces the application process. It can be noted that IKEA has been included in rankings of “Best Companies to Work For”.

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