Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
"It's the largest retail coup this city has ever been able to accomplish."
For Draper, IKEA is the coup: 310-thousand square feet of retail like nothing else in this region. Today's announcement that Draper is, in fact, the new IKEA site confirms rumors and speculation that have been circulating for months.
But now that it's coming, the question is when? Spring 2007 is the target date for the Swedish home furnishings retailer to open its doors in Utah. To say people are excited about it would be an understatement
You couldn't ask for a better endorsement: The Draper mayor's grand daughter, playing with IKEA samples. Kira Plagemann's dad says it wasn't planned.
Keith Plagemann, Father: "I think it has to do with the color, most important to see all the different colors."
Kira is just a little more unrestrained about her enthusiasm for IKEA. There are lots of adults in Utah who are quietly buzzing about a 310-thousand square foot retailer opening here. Soon everything from spoons to sofas and Swedish meatballs will be for sale on spot that's now a cornfield, at Bangerter Highway and I-15. Draper officials are clearly enthused about the store's arrival.
David Baird, Draper Economic Development Manager: "This is an absolute wonderful branding of success for our city. It brands us as a major retail destination."
The location also says something about how the Wasatch Front is growing. The store is planned for Bangerter Highway and I-15--accessible from both the north and the south.
Doug Greenholz, IKEA Real Estate Manager: "We see our customers as coming from all over the valley. Again, we want to be accessible to everyone, to the entire market."
IKEA also wants its products to have mass appeal: functional and affordable. They had samples on-hand today as an example of what IKEA is all about. Furniture that's pretty comfortable, pretty solid, easy on the pocketbook, and easy to put together, about 15 minutes each piece.
The company says quick access to the store will also be a part of IKEA experience in Draper. Traffic improvements are coming the city says were going to happen anyway. So now Draper is on the same list of cities as Bejing, Stockholm, Moscow and Atlanta as places that have IKEA stores, starting a year from next spring.