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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sunrise weighs trip to view Ikea
Retailer invites officials to visit California store

By Jeremy Milarsky
Staff Writer
Posted April 30 2005

Sunrise · Hoping to break into the South Florida market, executives from Swedish furniture giant Ikea have invited elected officials from Sunrise to visit one of their stores in California.

Commissioners are considering whether to take a trip at the city's expense to one of the Ikea stores in California in order to get a better idea of how a similar furniture outlet would affect West Sunrise.

Ikea executives for months have been negotiating with Fort Lauderdale developer Stiles Corp., and considering whether to lease space in that company's planned retail center on the northwest corner of Southwest 136th Avenue and State Road 84. Stiles owns about 25 acres at that location, which once housed Blockbuster Golf and Games.

"Allowing the Ikea is a major decision," Sunrise Mayor Steve Feren said. "So it might not be a bad idea to go out and look at one."

Fort Lauderdale is more than 1,000 miles away from the nearest Ikea store, in suburban Washington, D.C. But Sunrise officials want to visit an Ikea that would be similar in size and design to the one informally proposed in Sunrise, such as one of those in California.

"Every store is slightly different," Feren said.

About three months ago, commissioners met individually with Ikea executives to discuss the project. They saw concept drawings calling for a two-story store almost 200,000 square feet in size, three buildings with retail businesses, a 1.4-acre pond to retain storm water and a parking garage with more than 500 spaces.

Feren said any trip to a remote Ikea store would be financed by the city, "not the developer," and he pointed out he and his fellow elected officials visited La Ciudad de los Ninos in Mexico City before approving plans for the similar Wannado City theme park in Sawgrass Mills.

City Attorney Kim Register said such a trip would not violate Florida's open-meetings law unless commissioners discuss city business while in California.

Ikea spokesman Joseph Roth said his company has a continuing interest in Florida.

"It remains a site well-suited for Ikea," Roth said of the Sunrise property. "And certainly, anyone is welcome to go and visit one of our stores. That's something we always say upfront."

The state has more Ikea customers than any other state without an Ikea store; about 250,000 people in Florida shop at Ikea online, receive shipped furniture or order company catalogues, Roth said.

The furniture company had hoped to build a store in Davie, but executives last year withdrew their request after some residents voiced opposition.

Jeremy Milarsky can be reached at [email protected] or 954-572-2020.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Ikea has been searching for a place in Broward to build its first Florida store for a few years. They had a site picked out in Davie but the nimbys killed it. This new site is better anyway. It's easier to get to and very close to Sawgrass Mills.

Ikea is dead set on building a store in Broward. They think of it as the center of the SoFlo Metro. The Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-WPB metro is the largest metro in America without an Ikea.
 

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IKEA seems to be a little to late to enter the South Florida market considering there are so may furniture stores and firms already at DCOTA and the Design District in Miami.
If I remember correctly they also requires acres of land to build one of their stores which begs the question whether Sunrise has the ability land wise to accomadate such a large store.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
They aren't too late because they offer a type of product that no one else in the area offers. Besides, customers will drive from all over the state to shop here. 250,000 Floridians already shop on Ikea online and make roadtrips to out of state stores.

I agree about the space issue but Stiles Corp. is building a huge shopping center on about 20 acres (I think it's that big) in Sunrise. Ikea may be the anchor store of this new center.

Ikea's furniture is also a lot cheaper than the furniture from the fancy designers at DCOTA and the Design District. I think Ikea will compete more with City Furniture and Carl's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
There are small amounts of land still scattered around. This site used to be the Blockbuster Golf and Games amusement park back when Blockbuster was based in Fort Lauderdale.
 

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Bobdreamz said:
IKEA seems to be a little to late to enter the South Florida market considering there are so may furniture stores and firms already at DCOTA and the Design District in Miami.
Too late? Most of those stores in the Design District are totally out of price range for many consumers. Ikea offers stylish furniture that is of good quality and dirt cheap.

One of the sights they have been looking at is the Omni Mall in downtown. I would love to see them there, but they are leaning towards a centralized Broward store.
 

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an ikea at the omni mall, or midtown shops... wouldve been the greatest, prob never gonna happen tho

i went to the ikea in suburban chicago when i was up there, its a great place, that literally draws thousands that will drive over an hour or more to get there...
 

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Savior of Gondor
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They have a store in Minneapolis too, right next to the mall of America. Everything in that area is done on a grand scale (Mall of America is largest mall in America, Ikea is huge store, they are building a 10 story waterslide in the area and its all across the street from the Minneapolis-st paul airport) all in all the area is very tacky but popular with tourists. I used to deliver stuff to DCOTA, very cool place but coud never afford it, same with the design district (love the area though).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've been to IKEAs in Baltimore, DC and Philly and they all look pretty much the same. They're just huge blue and yellow box-shaped stores. Very suburban and large scale. The stores are big tourist attractions and are always crowded with customers. Many people rent U-HAULS and drive hundreds of miles to shop at IKEA.

If you aren't familiar with IKEA. Their philosophy is to make well designed furnishings affordable for regular people.

The stores usually have restaurants and day care centers so you can shop without your kids driving you nuts. : )

I don't think an ikea would be appropriate for Downtown MIA or Ft. Laud. because the stores are infamous for the crazy amounts of traffic they create in their neighborhoods. The stores are usually built within view of a highway and require large parking lots. I think the ideal location would be at Sawgrass Mills Mall.

The site they're now considering is on the proposed route of Broward's future east-west light rail line. Near the intersection of I-595 and the Sawgrass Expwy. Not far from Sawgrass Mills.

The furniture comes in flat boxes and customers typically have to assemble it at home.

The stores are two or three floors and laid out in a way that almost forces you to walk through the showrooms, then to the warehouse(to get the box(s) of furniture you chose) and to the checkout in the back where you can pull your car up to the doors.

I think IKEA would be a hit in SoFlo because this is a really design conscious community with 5 million people, many of whom aren't rich enough to shop at DCOTA or the Design District but everyone wants cool furniture, right?
And, like the article said, there are already 250,000 people in Florida who shop at IKEA online or drive to out of state stores.





Pic of warehouse area, showrooms are much nicer
 

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SSLL
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There are four in London area, four in Toronto, and soon to be two in Chicago. They are expanding quick! It'll be great for South Florida to get an Ikea, since the closest one right now is...Washington (until Atlanta's open) or Houston?
 

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did you guys hear a rumor that Ikea was going to build a store at Millenia in Orlando? turns out the rumor was false, as far as I know. But, I am glad to see they are going to build one in Sunrise. IMO, they don't need it in downtown Miami. Sawgrass is perfect for a location.
 

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MAH45462 said:
Too late? Most of those stores in the Design District are totally out of price range for many consumers. Ikea offers stylish furniture that is of good quality and dirt cheap.

One of the sights they have been looking at is the Omni Mall in downtown. I would love to see them there, but they are leaning towards a centralized Broward store.
While they are cheap and I do love the little food court they have, I don't think their quality is that great. If I wanted high quality items, DCOTA and the Design District is still the place to go.

Some things that I've had problems with are the material. They look futuristic, modern, and classy at IKEA, but the material themselves are pretty much polycarbonated, pulp (or whatever the word is... it's not coming into my head right now) materials which doesn't last very long -- it's not IKEA's fault but their products usually last longer than Target and Wal-Mart.

That being said, I hope they don't make too many IKEAs in South Florida or the higher quality places will suffer as a consequence. The Design District is a jewel in Miami.
 

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An earlier post said that it was 200,000 square feet. The new one in Chicagoland is going to be the size of their largest stores (300-340,000 square feet), same as the two latest ones in Greater Toronto and Mall of America. So it's going to be in the middle range of their stores. I wonder why not bigger?
 

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Yah I'm wondering now why it's not going to be bigger. Houston had a small one but they just recently tore it down to build a two story 300,000 sq ft Ikea (looks like the picture up there actually -- I'm wondering if that's the picture of the one in Houston). It's nice, big and so on, but maybe it's just too massive for South Florida as massive buildings kind of go against the new urbanism wave going on. But I'm sure they won't be missing any products if they have a lot of buyers in the area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I have no idea where the IKEA in the picture is.
The IKEA in Sunrise is supposed to be two floors also. Knowing how much difficulty IKEA is having trying to build their first SoFla location you would think they'd build it as big as possible. They've been trying to build down here for years and it's only going to get harder to build something this big in South Florida considering the land crunch.
 
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