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IKEA to Rule Burbank With Swedish Furnishings, Plans New Store Twice as Big as Current One

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To those who worship at the mecca of Swedish assemble-it-yourself furniture and home decor, you are going to get a massive new temple. IKEA is moving ahead with securing land in Burbank on which they will build a store nearly twice the size of their current location.

The company says they have outgrown their 242,000-square-foot Burbank store across from the Media City; it opened in 1990 and was the first IKEA in California. (Surely thousands of hopeful stars have bought BILLY bookcases and futons there in the past 22 years for their modest Studio City apartments.)

The new 470,00-square-foot store, which still awaits final approval from Burbank, "would be open in 2016 and be built on 22 acres west of San Fernando Boulevard and south of Providencia Avenue, less than one mile from the current location," according to the Burbank Leader.

The real estate dealings have had their share of controversy and challenges, notes the Leader. Today's announcement by IKEA arrives on the heels of a state-level decision to put the brakes on "a series of deals put in motion by the Burbank City Council last month to keep IKEA within city limits because they involved land owned by the now-defunct Redevelopment Agency."

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The deal, as planned, is for the new land owner, Crown Realty and Development, to acquire the current IKEA building. But state financial officials need to rule on that sale and to determine what role the city of Burbank can play in the transaction; that decision is due mid-2013. Still, IKEA is going ahead with getting the new property, and "Crown Realty also agreed to buy out the remainder of IKEA’s 72-year lease in which the retailer pays no rent for occupying the property."

What can a shopper expect from a ginormous new IKEA? The company says:

A new, more spacious IKEA Burbank would feature a larger quantity of the nearly 10,000 exclusively designed items, 50 inspirational room-settings, three model home interiors, a supervised children's play area, and a larger restaurant for serving Swedish specialties.

That's a lot of meatballs!