Official opening date of Kansas City's Ikea announced - KCTV5

UPDATE

Official opening date of Kansas City's Ikea announced

Posted: Updated:
MERRIAM, KS (KCTV) -

We now know when to expect the opening of Kansas City's Ikea.

Tuesday the Swedish retailer announced that the store located in Merriam, KS, will officially open for business at 9 a.m. on Sept. 10.

It will be the Swedish company's first store in Kansas, and 40th in the U.S., with the closest Ikea stores in Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota and Texas. Customers can begin lining up at the store on Sept. 8 - 48 hours in advance of the doors' opening.

"We are thrilled by the construction progress made to date, and believe the remaining milestones and interior build-up will be complete by September," said Rob Parsons, store manager of the future Ikea Merriam. "Besides furnishing our store, we are focused on training the 300 coworkers now part of the Ikea family."

While many shoppers can't wait for the opening, some homeowners are worried about the headaches that all the customers will bring.

The street leading to the store is now called Ikea Way and people are worried that traffic on that street will be so heavy that it will back up in both directions on Johnson Drive and even on the exit ramps from Interstate 35. Traffic is also expected to be heavy on Shawnee Mission Parkway.

"I just feel that it will change the neighborhood," Betty Cline said.

Cline has seen a lot of changes in her Merriam neighborhood since she bought her home more than 50 years ago. Now that her home is a block away from the new Ikea Way, she worries it won't be safe to leave her driveway.

"It just will be difficult to get in and out of my driveway, it will be difficult to walk across the street to the pool and to my mailbox," she said.

Merriam police plan on getting help from other police departments to direct traffic in the area. They are expecting 5,000 to 10,000 additional drivers coming to Ikea the first few weeks it's open.

"I've heard great things about it, I'm excited to see what all the hoopla is about," Mareen Kronawitter said.

Kronawitter, a mother, is excited about the superstore and revenue brought to Merriam, but she's not excited about the traffic.

"It's going to be a nightmare. It was bad before, but thinking about everyone that's going to be coming down Johnson Drive is going to be terrible," she said.

In addition to the thousands of shoppers flocking to Ikea, neighbors who drive on Johnson Drive know of another thing that will add to the traffic delays.

"You can sit at that train track for five to 10 minutes and the traffic does back up a lot if that happens," Kronawitter said.

Signage along I-35 will encourage shoppers from out of town to use exits other than just Johnson Drive, looping them around the store.

Also a shuttle from the vacant Kmart located across Shawnee Mission Parkway will take shoppers to Ikea the first few weeks that it's open.

The 359,000-square-foot future Ikea store, and 1,200 parking spaces, is being built in the city of Merriam on 18.4 acres along the eastern side of Interstate 35 and Johnson Drive, eight miles southwest of Kansas City, MO. The store will reflect the region's largest geothermal project and plans for the state's largest rooftop solar array, consistent with the renewable energy presence at 90 percent of U.S. Ikea locations.

Ikea Merriam will also feature a supervised children's play area, and a 450-seat restaurant serving Swedish specialties such as meatballs with lingonberries and salmon plates, as well as American dishes.

Learn of more grand opening plans and promotions at Ikea-USA.com/Merriam.

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