Those Swedish meatballs and furniture that IKEA is famous for around the U.S. and the world will soon be on full display at the furniture retailer’s new 290,000-square-foot Jacksonville store at the corner of Gate Parkway and Interstate 295.
A1A Solar workers are busy finishing up what will be one of the largest retail solar rooftops in Florida, while inside, merchandise is already arriving with the elaborate display areas now being installed.
The environmentally friendly theme continues outside in the 950-space parking area, where three charging stations will soon be wired for electric and plug-in hybrid cars. The EV stalls will be part of the Blink network, which is the same charging station vendor used by the St. Johns Town Center.
The acres of displays that IKEA is famous for are starting to take shape. Workers are busy assembling everything from kitchens to kid-friendly areas.
The company has an ambitious goal. It wants to be energy independent by 2020, and the Jacksonville store will play a significant part in that. IKEA has installed more than 700,000 solar panels on buildings worldwide and owns nearly 350 wind turbines.
“Installing EV Charging stations at the future IKEA Jacksonville reinforces our commitment to sustainability,” said Leontyne Green Sykes, who is the store manager of the new Jacksonville location and previously worked at IKEA’s Conshokocken, Pa., location, which is outside of Philadelphia.
Sykes says more than 200 employees have already been hired. Although an exact date for the opening hasn’t been announced yet, it will be sometime this fall. The Jacksonville store still has about 50 permanent job openings in addition to between 65 and 80 seasonal openings, Sykes said.
Founded in Sweden in 1943, IKEA now has more than 400 stores in 49 countries, including 44 in the U.S.
The Jacksonville store will be the fifth to open in Florida. The others are in Orlando, Sunrise, Sweetwater and Tampa.