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TAMPA, FL-Swedish retailer Ikea is planning to build a 353,000-sf store on 29 acres currently occupied with buildings at the former Tampa International Center. The site is bordered by 22nd Street, 26th Street, Adamo Drive and the Crosstown Expressway.

Pending city approvals for the store and infrastructure improvements, construction could begin as early as spring 2008, with a projected store opening as early as summer 2009. “We are thrilled to be submitting plans for an Ikea store at this site in Tampa where we can build upon our southeastern presence established in Atlanta and build upon the success of our two Florida stores set to open this fall,” says Ikea director of real estate David Iemolo.

The store will feature 1,700 parking spaces, three model homes, 50 room settings, a children’s play area and a 300-seat restaurant that features Swedish and American food. Ikea spokesman Joseph Roth tells GlobeSt.com that the company targeted Tampa because it is growing metropolitan area. “We found a great site for the store,” Roth says. “It’s not just about location, it’s about availability of land. It’s tough to find 29 acres.”

The store would be Ikea’s newest addition in its efforts to expand in the southeast. In Florida, Ikea will open stores in the fall in Sunrise and Orlando. Another store in Charlotte, NC is slated to open in spring 2009. Roth says the company does not anticipate opening any more stores in Florida in the near future.

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