IKEA will open in Columbus next week. June 7 to be exact.
The buzz is so beyond unbelievable that traffic could force the closure of multiple I-71 exit ramps, according to Columbus-area authorities.
We thought this would be a good time for us to check back in on whether we could still get an IKEA in Northeast Ohio.
IKEA officials haven’t quashed the idea.
Joseph Roth, in IKEA’s USA expansion department, wrote the following to WKYC Channel 3’s Hilary Golston:
“…While we currently have not committed to a timeframe or site for a Cleveland-area store, we continue to evaluate opportunities. We definitely believe Northeast Ohio can support its own IKEA store. We just have not yet been able to find (sic) an appropriate location.”
Plans for a possible Brooklyn location off I-480 were quashed after the location was deemed to be ‘undevelopable,’ by the US Army Corps of Engineers, Roth tells Golston.
The Netherlands-based home retailer’s new store in Columbus is expected to draw shoppers from all across Ohio.
Police say they’re putting law enforcement at 14 intersections leading to and from the new IKEA.
Once the 2,000 parking spaces are full, police are going force the flow of traffic into a circle around the shopping area.
To avoid accidents, police are prepared to close freeway ramps on I-71 and even shut down the ramp from 270 to 71, if necessary.
Using the Channel 3 studios as a starting point, located at 1333 Lakeside Avenue East in Cleveland, we came up with the following travel times to each nearby IKEA.
- Cincinnati: 3 hours and 40 minutes.
- Pittsburgh: 2 hours and 8 minutes.
- Canton, Michigan: 2 hours 30 minutes.
- Columbus: 1 hour 57 minutes.
The new Columbus store is expected to generate about 325 jobs.