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Ikea's St. Louis Store Taking Shape

The Ikea store in St. Louis is on track to open next fall.

Construction workers began putting up the steel frame for the 380,000 square foot store this week. The blue paneling will likely go up in December.

"That’s when the iconic blue and yellow will begin to show," said Joseph Roth, Ikea’s director of U.S. public affairs.

The furnishings retailer is already gearing up to hire 300 employees. Hiring for senior management positions will begin this fall, management level positions in early January and the rest of the employees in the spring, Roth said.

Credit (courtesy IKEA)
Architectural rendering of IKEA St. Louis, which is set to open in fall 2015.

"Ikea is such a unique business that it’s really required that we hire people far enough in advance so they’re familiar with Ikea and then their particular function in the store," he said.

The 21-acre site at Vandeventer and Forest Park Avenues is part of St. Louis’ innovation district, Cortex, and sits next to a working grain terminal. Roth said it’s a smaller area than Ikea typically requires, so the company is including parking below the store. It’s one of only a handful built in an urban core.

"With Ikea, we’re talking about one store throughout the metropolitan area, so it’s not like we need to be right next to our neighbors who are also our customers," Roth said. "But we want to be central to as many people as possible."

The St. Louis store will be the 41st Ikea site in the U.S.

A Kansas City-area store (in Merriam, Kansas) opened in September. The next Ikea is slated to open in Las Vegas in 2016.

Follow Maria on Twitter: @radioaltman

Maria is the newscast, business and education editor for St. Louis Public Radio.