IKEA comes to Denver… finally

There's a lot happening in the news these days -- the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac bailout, the energy/housing crisis, the most exciting presidential race in my lifetime. But, really, there is only one piece of news that I care about -- and that's today's announcement that IKEA, the Swedish retailer of all that is affordable, chic and modern for the home, is finally coming here,

It's about time. The Denver Business Journal reported in May 2004 that IKEA had approached the city of Lone Tree about opening a store, but Lone Tree had turned down the store and "potentially millions in sales tax revenue, because its city design guidelines won't accommodate IKEA's signature blue and yellow stores."

Lucky for us, IKEA heard the pleas of thousands of Denver-area fans and the town of Centennial has decided to make the sacrifice of pulling in the millions of dollars that Lone Tree didn't want. Word is that Centennial will even allow the store to be built with its standard colors.

This is all very good timing for me, since about every three months I take a long, hard look at my finances and try to figure out if it's worth flying to Salt Lake City to visit the Draper, Utah IKEA (the closest store to Denver at the moment), renting a moving van and then driving everything back to Denver. The answer has always been "no," but since I just bought a new house and still need to furnish most of it, I've been considering it more and more frequently lately.

I've even taken to trolling Craigslist looking for IKEA stuff, and have often stumbled across listings from people who were either pooling their resources to do the exact drive I've contemplated or splitting the high shipping costs to fulfill their Scandinavian design dreams. In fact, I just got the new 2009 IKEA catalog in the mail yesterday, and my husband and I were wondering why, oh, why, there wasn't an IKEA here.

Now it looks like I can finally stop asking that question and I won't have to spend money to fly to Utah. Instead, I'll be able to spend it in Centennial.

For more information on IKEA, visit www.ikea.com. There's no opening date set for the Centennial store, but you better believe that I'll be staying on the story.

-- Aubrey Shoe

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