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IKEA Announces Plan To Open Jacksonville Store In 2017

The largest city in Florida is getting its own IKEA store.

The Swedish home goods company says it will break ground in Jacksonville next summer with an anticipated opening date of fall 2017.

Mayor Lenny Curry and other officials are welcoming the store to Northeast Florida.

IKEA spokesman Joseph Roth announced the new store at the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce Wednesday morning. He stood next to an IKEA dresser with framed pictures of Mayor Lenny Curry, City Council President Greg Anderson and City Councilman Aaron Bowman perched on top.

If approved, the new store will be assembled at the intersection of Interstate 295 and Gate Parkway. A 300,000 square foot building is set to employ 250 people and have room for 1,200 parking spots.

Curry says the city didn't offer IKEA economic incentives to build here, but he isn't ruling it out.

“There are no incentives at this time,” Curry said. “Look, my philosophy on any issue is ‘Everything is up for negotiation,’ but right now the deal is done, and I’m grateful they’re going to be here.”

Curry says he and City Council members will be the first to shop at the First Coast location when it opens.

IKEA’s Jacksonville location will be the fifth store in Florida since the company first expanded to the U.S. 30 years ago.

Ryan Benk is a former WJCT News reporter who joined the station in 2015 after working as a news researcher and reporter for NPR affiliate WFSU in Tallahassee.