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IKEA in Colorado just a year away -- and fans couldn't be happier

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In September 2008, we told you about the impending debut of Colorado's first IKEA -- a plan whose roots stretched all the way back to 2004. The latest? The company has issued a press release confirming that contractors have been hired with an eye toward opening an outlet in Centennial in the fall of 2011.

That's big news to online IKEA lovers of the sort who congregate at IKEAfans.com and ColoradoIKEAfans.com, both of which are reacting to the announcement with delight. So don't try telling them IKEA's just a store. If you do, they may smack you with a piece of flat-packed furniture.

Look below to read the press release and, just for fun, watch a banned IKEA video that involves some sexy spaghetti sucking. Those wacky Scandinavians...

IKEA SECURES CONTRACTORS AND ANNOUNCES FALL 2011 OPENING FOR FUTURE CENTENNIAL STORE

CONSHOHOCKEN, PA -- IKEA, the world's leading home furnishings retailer, today announced that contractors have been hired and a site-work permit is pending for its future Denver-area store. This progress allows for a Fall 2011 grand opening in Centennial, Colorado, increasing the Swedish retailer's presence in the western United States. Until IKEA Centennial opens, customers from Colorado and beyond can shop at IKEA stores in Draper, UT and Tempe, AZ or at www.IKEA-USA.com.

IKEA has retained Centennial-based Saunders Construction as the construction management firm. Other Colorado firms involved with this future IKEA store include: CLC Associates for civil design; Kimley Horn Associates as traffic consultants during the approval process; Ground Engineering providing environmental analysis and geotechnical services; Otten Johnson Robinson Neff & Ragonetti serving as local counsel; real estate brokerage firm Legend Retail Group assisting IKEA in the site selection process; Geothermal Systems of Colorado installing the geothermal component, and Miller Global selling the land. Atlanta-based GreenbergFarrow is architect responsible for store design, site planning and construction documents.

"With our land purchased, team selected and site-work permit pending, we now can schedule IKEA Centennial to open Fall 2011," said Doug Greenholz, IKEA real estate director. "Construction crews soon will begin clearing and grading the site, and we look forward to breaking ground officially in a couple of months."

In addition to 10,000 exclusively-designed items, IKEA Centennial will present approximately 50 different room-settings, three complete model home interiors, a supervised children's play area and a 500-seat restaurant serving Swedish specialties such as meatballs with lingonberries or salmon plates, as well as American dishes. Other family-friendly features include a 'Children's IKEA' area in the showroom, baby care rooms, preferred parking and play areas throughout the store.

The 415,000 square-foot future IKEA Centennial, with approximately 1,500 parking spaces, will be built on 13.5 acres along the western side of Interstate 25 in the Park Meadows area, accessible from connections to Dry Creek Road and County Line Road exits, and will employ approximately 400 coworkers when the new store opens. The store will reflect the same unique architectural design for which IKEA stores are known worldwide. Also, IKEA Centennial will be the first U.S. IKEA store to incorporate a geothermal component as part of the heating and cooling system, so heat will be pumped either from or into the ground, depending on weather conditions.

There currently are more than 300 IKEA stores in 38 countries, including 37 in the U.S. Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered a wide range of home furnishings and accessories of good design and function at low prices so the majority of the people can afford them. IKEA has been ranked in FORTUNE's annual "100 Best Companies to Work For" list, Working Mother magazine's annual list of "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers" and Training magazine's annual "Top 100" ranking of companies that excel at human capital development. IKEA incorporates sustainable efforts into day-to-day business, and continually supports initiatives that benefit causes such as children and the environment. For more information about IKEA, please go to www.IKEA-USA.com.

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