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CINCINNATI-Furniture and housewares giant Ikea is planning a 339,000-sf store along Interstate 75 in West Chester Township, a suburb located 16 miles southwest of Downtown Cincinnati.

The store, situated at Allen and Muhlhauser roads, will feature three model homes, a supervised play area for kids and a 300-seat restaurant. According to a statement released by the retailer, the company will begin construction this fall, with the store expected to open in the fall of 2007.

This is the first Ohio store for Ikea. The Cincinnati location is expected to draw customers from cities around the region, including Columbus, Indianapolis, Dayton, Lexington, KY and Louisville, KY.

Currently, the closest Ikea locations are in the Chicago, Detroit and Pittsburgh areas. The retailer operates 237 stores in 34 countries, with 28 in the United States.

Ohio is not the only state IKEA is making news. In Boston, a judge has ruled on the retailer’s license to build on a 16.6-acre parcel and in Florida, the Orlando City Council approved IKEA’s plan to build 310,000-sf store.

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