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ORLANDO-Swedish home furnishings retailer IKEA is planning to expand its presence in Florida and the Southeast with the construction of a 310,000-sf store at the southeastern end of the Mall at Millenia.

Construction of the store, the company’s second in Florida, will begin in the summer pending permits. The store, on 22 acres off Eastgate Drive south of Conroy Road, is expected to open fall 2007. IKEA director of public affairs Joseph Roth tells GlobeSt.com that the store will be a prototypical IKEA. In addition to 1,200 parking spaces, the store will feature 10,000 exclusively designed items, three model homes, 50 room settings, a children’s play area and a 300-seat restaurant. “All the stores we’re building in the United States are very similar,” Roth says.

The store will be IKEA’s third in the Southeast. The company is currently building a store in Sunrise, which is expected to open summer 2007. That 293,000-sf store will be located on a 20-acre parcel at the corner of Interstate 595 and NW 136th Avenue, which is part of the 25-acre Gateway at Sawgrass shopping center planned by Fort Lauderdale-based Stiles Corp. The company opened its first store in the Southeast in Atlanta in June 2005. “We plan to have a strong presence in the Southeast. To support these stores we have a distribution center under construction in Savannah, GA,” Roth says.

IKEA currently has 235 stores in 34 countries, including 27 in the US. With the goal of opening three to five US stores a year, the company is planning to open stores in Brooklyn, NY; Canton, MI.; Draper, UT; Dublin, CA; Portland, OR; Round Rock, TX; and Somerville, MA.

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