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SAVANNAH, GA-Ikea plans to develop a 1.7-million-sf distribution facility on 115 acres here. Confirming suspicions GlobeSt.com reported on in October, the home furnishings retailer from Sweden confirms the new facility will rise at the Savannah International Trade Park.

The estimated $50-million Southeast Distribution Center will be developed in phases. The first phase will be a 785,000-sf facility that is expected to be operational by summer 2007. An expansion of approximately 975,000 sf is planned to start after the initial building is up and running.

With about 1,500 suppliers in 55 countries around the world, Ikea globally transports products to its stores through regional distribution centers. The Savannah facility will provide the primary inventory to Ikea stores in the Southeast and Texas. Its other distribution centers are located in Bristol, PA; Brossard, QC; Perryville, MD; Tejon, CA; Vancouver, BC; and Westampton, NJ.

Ikea currently owns and operates 225 stores in 33 countries. In North America, it is opening three to five of its mega-box warehouse stores each year. Currently stores are planned for Brooklyn, NY; Canton, MI; Draper, UT; Dublin, CA; Portland, OR; Round Rock, TX; Somerville, MA; and West Sacramento, CA.

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