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DETROIT-The retail giant Ikea is looking at four to five sites to build its firststore in Michigan, most likely in the Metropolitan Detroit area.The company is based in Sweden, and has 176 stores in 31 countries. Itentered Canada in 1975, and the United States in 1985. Most of the storesaverage 325,000-sf.

However, the home and office furniture store never has had a facility inMichigan, though there has been interest, said Brad Prevost, a real estatedirector for the Pennsylvania-based company.He confirmed that the chain is looking at property in Madison Heights along12 Mile Road, along I-75, on property of a vacant Denny’s restaurant. Anewer Home Depot already draws traffic to the area.

Another site the company is looking at is on Ford Road along I-275 in CantonTownship, Prevost said.”We’re also looking at sites in Novi and Livonia,” Prevost told GlobeSt.com.

The new store is part of a plan to build five new stores every year for thenext 10 years, he said.”We’re in the early stages of a very aggressive expansion campaign,” Prevostsaid. “We’re already in Chicago, and Detroit is another Midwest market thatwe want to enter.”

“We haven’t made a decision yet. We want to have something built by 2005, soif you work backward from there, we do want to have a decision made verysoon,” Prevost said.

He said the company had considered building in the Troy Marketplace shoppingarea, a large big-box retail area that was built within the last five years.”The site acquisition costs just got a little too high in Troy, and the sitebecame unmanageable,” Prevost said.

Reports that the company wants to build two stores in Michigan by 2005 areuntrue, Prevost told GlobeSt.com.”At this point, we can’t see the Michigan market sustaining more than one,”he said.

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