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July 11, 2014

Ikea wants to rebuild Renton store

Image courtesy of Ikea [enlarge]
The 399,000-square-foot new store will have two levels and nearly 1,700 parking spaces.

Ikea said it is submitting plans to Renton to replace its current store with a new one on the site where parking is today.

A press release from the Swedish home furnishings retailer said the new store would cover part of the current parking area. When the new store is done, the existing store would be demolished to create parking space.

The new store could open by fall of 2016, and the existing store will remain open until then.

Atlanta-based architecture firm GreenbergFarrow designs all Ikea's U.S. stores, and will work on the new Renton store.

Ikea's existing Renton store covers 398,000 square feet on a 29-acre site near state Route 167. The structure was built in 1979 as an aerospace electronics warehouse. Ikea converted it in 1994.

Jospeh Roth, a spokesperson for Ikea, said the company recently decided it would be more cost effective to build a new store from the ground up than to do upgrades on the old warehouse.

“We typically buy our own land and build our own buildings,” Roth said.

The proposed 399,000-square-foot store would have two levels and nearly 1,700 parking spaces. Roth said it would have a new layout similar to the design of its other stores.

“We are excited for the chance to build a new Ikea store from the ground-up, adjacent to the current store and on land we already own,” said Ikea U.S. CFO Rob Olson in a statement.

The new store will sell nearly 10,000 items, with 50 room settings, three model home interiors, a children's play area and a larger restaurant.

Roth said this is a chance for Ikea to offer shoppers a better experience, and make more efficient use of the land.

Ultimately, the number of parking spaces in Renton won't change, but parking will be reconfigured and adjusted during construction.

“There will definitely be a transition period,” Roth said. “We've actually done something similar in Huston about seven years ago, where we built a brand new store and tore down the old one.”

Roth said the company will recycle waste and use recycled materials in construction. The new building will also have energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, skylights in warehouse areas, and water-conserving restrooms.

Several Ikea stores are LEED-certified, including one in Portland, but the retailer won't seek certification for the Renton store. Roth said all Ikea stores have similar designs but, “We just didn't feel the need to get every store certified.”

Ikea has electric vehicle charging stations at 13 stores, including in Renton.

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