Ikea is moving forward with building its store in Merriam, picking J.E. Dunn Construction as the builder and beginning demolition work to make way for the $70.3 million project later this month.
The Swedish retail chain said Thursday that J.E. Dunn would be construction manager for the 359,000-square-foot store to be built on the site of the Merriam Village shopping center, a retail project overlooking Interstate 35 at Johnson Drive that has been vacant since its completion in 2008.
Demolition of the shopping center is expected to begin later this month, according to the Ikea announcement. The new store is expected to open in fall 2014. It will be the first move by Ikea into the regional market. The nearest other stores are in the Minneapolis, Chicago, Dallas and Denver areas.
“We are excited that plans continue to be on track to open the Ikea Merriam as our Kansas City area store,” Mike Ward, Ikea U.S. president, said in a statement. “This store would provide a more conveniently located Ikea shopping experience for current and potential customers from Kansas, Missouri and beyond.”
The project will occupy 19 acres and include 1,200 parking spaces. Once it opens, the store will have more than 300 employees.
In addition to J.E. Dunn, other local firms involved with the project are Shafer, Kline & Warren, civil engineering; Professional Services Industries, geotechnical services; Lathrop & Gage, legal services; and R.H. Johnson Co., real estate broker.
Ikea also is working with Heartland Habitat for Humanity and other local groups to recycle and salvage as much of the existing building materials, equipment and parts as possible from the demolished shopping center.
The 170,000-square-foot Merriam Village was developed by DDR Corp. of Ohio and was to have been anchored by a Circuit City electronics store. Circuit City pulled out of the market before it opened, however, and the $73.5 million shopping center failed. DDR sold the property for the new Ikea store.