NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Discussions to bring an Ikea to Hampton Roads circulated for years.
Now the project is well on it’s way. This week crews started installing the big blue side panels on the building, something Ikea officials say is a milestone for construction.
This new Ikea store will be the first in Norfolk and second in Virginia.
“So what makes that special is it signals one that an IKEA store is going up but also it means that we are about 50 percent through construction,” explained Latisha Bracy, an IKEA spokesperson.
Bracy went on to say when picking a new store location, Hampton Roads and particularly the spot they picked in Norfolk, hit all the marks on their checklist.
“One of the things that we’re looking for us our customer base,” said Bracy. “We have about 35 thousand customers that are in this area so it was a natural fit for us to start looking for a location here.”
The company says the 331,000 square foot store will feature 10,000 exclusively designed items, 50 room settings and a 450-seat restaurant serving food including Ikea’s famous Swedish meatballs.
Another important component is accessibility. IKEA likes posting up next to a major highway. The new store is located right off I-64 and North Hampton Boulevard.
Crews broke ground on the store in November of 2017.
The grand opening of the new store was initially slated for this summer, but was pushed back to next spring. Officials said the location of the Norfolk store was smaller than they are used to, which required plans to be tweaked.
Bracy said the community has helped make the process as seamless as possible.
“Anytime we call, we have a question, we need help with getting permitting, they are able to answer our call. They have been there to help us, guide us through the process here in Norfolk. Everyone has been very supportive.”
Big building projects and big stores take a lot of people, which means more local obs.
According to Bracy, “just from this process alone you’re looking at about 500 jobs that we’re infusing into the community. Five-hundred construction jobs. Once construction is completed, you’re looking at at least 250 jobs.”
Bracy said people can already apply to some manager jobs online, however the majority of postings will go up in the fall.
The grand opening is still on track for Spring of 2019.