Representatives of Swedish furniture retailer IKEA will pay a visit to Cary next week to answer questions about the company’s proposed store at Cary Towne Center.
IKEA announced in May that it wanted to open its first Triangle store on a 15-acre portion of the Cary Towne Center site off Interstate 40. It would be the second North Carolina store for IKEA, after one in Charlotte that opened in 2009. The next closest IKEA is in Woodbridge, VA., south of Washington, D.C.
Triangle residents will have the opportunity to ask IKEA representatives questions about the company and its proposal at an open house from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 27, at the vacant space in Cary Towne Center that used to house The Limited.
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“Long term, we expect these folks to be our neighbors, and we think it’s never too early to start building that relationship,” said IKEA spokesman Joseph Roth, who will attend the meeting.
The proposed IKEA is part of a plan by CBL & Associates Properties, the mall’s owner, to redevelop the struggling shopping center. CBL has submitted a rezoning request to the Town of Cary to kick off the initial step in a multi-phase redevelopment effort. It begins with the eastern part of the property, which includes the vacant Macy’s and Sears buildings and land nearest the Triangle Aquatic Center. The vacant Macy’s and Sears buildings would be demolished to make way for IKEA.
The Cary Town Council will need to approve a rezoning and development plan for the 359,000-square-foot store and two-level parking deck. If approved, the store could be open as early as summer 2020.
A public hearing at an upcoming Town Council meeting will be the next step in the process. It has yet to be scheduled, according to town staff. A preliminary development plan was resubmitted last week and is being reviewed by staff.
“IKEA will be a significant draw to the area, and we are thrilled to see the project progress as we work through the town’s approval process,” CBL spokeswoman Stacey Keating said in an email. “We are pleased to host our neighbors along with IKEA for this July 27th meeting. We are happy to help our customers get helpful information as we move forward with the next generation of Cary Towne Center.”
The open house was scheduled after CaryForward, a group of residents who support redevelopment at the mall, invited representatives of the retailer to speak to neighbors. The group also is circulating an online petition in support of the proposed IKEA. The petition has garnered nearly 700 signatures.
“I believe that IKEA is an exciting retailer,” said Tim Devinney, a Cary real estate agent and member of CaryForward. “I believe they have a certain hipster feel to them. I love the European tilt of their products, the simplicity of what they have and the fact that they focus on do-it-yourselfers. I think it is appealing to a wide spectrum of the population, and I believe they will definitely motivate more renovation and development in the eastern gateway.”
Kathryn Trogdon: 919-829-4845: @KTrogdon
Want to go
What: Meet and greet with IKEA representatives
When 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 27
Where: The vacant space at Cary Towne Center formerly used by The Limited
Parking: Near the Visionworks entrance between Belk and Dillard’s