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IKEA Announces Plans For Store In Columbus

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Swedish retailer IKEA announced, Tuesday, it plans to build a store in Columbus near Polaris Mall. To all of the people who have requested an IKEA during the past 15 years, Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman said, "Wish granted.” The proposal calls for the location to be at the northeast corner of Interstate-71 and Gemini Place, near the old Germain Amphitheatre site. Construction of the 354,000-square-foot store is set for spring 2016 with it opening summer 2017. Delaware will receive revenue from sales tax, and Columbus stands to get the income tax revenue. Neither Delaware nor Columbus could provide any tax revenue projections. But Coleman called IKEA a “good economic value.” "Up until now, people have been going to Cincinnati to do their IKEA shopping," Coleman said. "And it's a big deal. IKEA is a big deal for a region because it attracts so far and wide." The city did not offer IKEA tax incentives to locate to Columbus. IKEA spokesman Joseph Roth said Columbus was chosen because it has the customer base to sustain the business. “Each metropolitan area really should be able to support its own IKEA store. We typically require a population base of 2 million people," Roth said. “It’s a no-brainer for us. This opportunity arose and we chose to act.” Roth added the close proximity to I-71 also played a role in the decision. [caption id="attachment_86943" align="aligncenter" width="592"] The proposed Ikea store at Polaris would sit next to I-71 and Gemini Parkway. [/caption] The construction phase is expected to create 500 jobs. The store will have 300 employees. There also are plans to alleviate traffic congestion. Delaware County administrator Tim Hansley said the project calls for Gemini Place to be extended east to Old Worthington Road, and feeder roads will connect it to Polaris Parkway. “With our improvements that we have in place and the additional things we’re going to build it will address the additional retail traffic," Hansley said. Hansley estimates the road project will about $12 million. Columbus will contribute $1 million in TIF money, and Delaware County will provide $4 million. ODOT, Westerville and developers also will share in the expense.