IKEA breaks ground on Ybor City store

06/04/08 Seán Kinane
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This morning, several Tampa officials took part in the groundbreaking ceremony for the area’s first IKEA store.

Before she uncovered the ceremonial first shovelful of dirt for the Swedish furniture store that will open next summer, Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio said it would give her city an economic boost.

The Ybor City IKEA will be the third store in Florida, and the 37th in the United States.

Members of Tampa’s City Council also took part in the ceremonial groundbreaking, including Council Chair Thomas Scott.

Last year 522-million people visited the 279 IKEA stores in 36 countries. The company distributed 191-million copies of its catalog last year.

Joseph Roth is the director of public affairs for IKEA. He said there were no plans yet to put photovoltaic solar panels on the roof of the store, but it incorporated other green design elements.

Late last year, Tampa City Council member Linda Saul-Sena sent a letter to IKEA saying the site plan should be more environmentally friendly. Saul-Sena threatened to embarrass IKEA by posting video of the site on YouTube, but she has since apologized.

The IKEA store will be located between Adamo Drive and the Crosstown expressway, east of 22nd street in Ybor City and will open next summer.

Photo by Seán Kinane/WMNF

Previous WMNF coverage of IKEA controversy

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