The Cary Town Council on Thursday night will consider clearing the way for a future IKEA store in a mall that has been abandoned by major tenants.
The popular Swedish furniture retailer is one of the most anticipated stores in the Triangle. The only other Ikea in North Carolina is in Charlotte.
Thursday’s scheduled vote is on a request to rezone about 20 acres in the 38-year-old Cary Towne Center to accommodate the project. The town’s planning board has unanimously recommended approving the request, but some residents who live nearby the site have expressed concerns.
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Here are the details:
▪ The IKEA development would replace the vacant Sears and Macy’s stores in the mall with a 380,000-square-foot, two-story building and two-deck parking area. That would represent an increase of more than half of the current commercial floor space.
▪ Neighbors have been concerned about noise and lighting. Current plans call for maintaining a dense buffer and berm between the store and the Ivy Meadows subdivision and allowing surface parking only. The height of parking lot lights has been lowered from the initial plan. In 2014, a rezoning request was withdrawn after neighbors opposed increasing building height limits, which had been intended to spur redevelopment of the mall.
▪ A new traffic signal would be installed at Cary Towne Boulevard and Convention Drive, and several intersection improvements could be made.
▪ How soon customers can shop there depends on how the plan progresses through additional approvals. IKEA has projected opening in 2020, following demolition next year and groundbreaking the year after that.