FISHERS, Ind. - Elected officials and representatives from IKEA held an official groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday for the company's first store in Indiana.
The store will be located just southeast of the I-69 and 116th Street in Fishers and is scheduled to open next fall.
"It’s a unique retail opportunity in our city and we are really excited to see them break ground," Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness said.
Fadness, U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks (R-Ind.) and IKEA representatives spoke prior to Tuesday's groundbreaking ceremony, calling the store "an experience" that's much more than just shopping.
The new store will be nearly 300,000 square feet and employ 250 people in customer service, sales, food service, accounting and other areas. Inside you’ll find three model homes interiors, 50 room settings, a play area for children and a restaurant serving IKEA's famous Swedish specialties including its famous meatballs.
“People are excited about having opportunities to try unique experiences like Topgolf, like IKEA, that are going to be right here in their own community," Fadness said.
Even though many people in Fishers are excited for the retailer to open, some are concerned about an increase in traffic at an intersection that's already very busy.
"That’s going to be a whole lot more traffic, but on the other hand we need progress and that is progress," Fishers resident Cynthia Coleman said.
However, Fadness said that while the retailer will bring added traffic, it won't be as bad as people think. He explained IKEA's peak hours do not correspond with rush hour traffic and if the space was filled by an office park, traffic in the area would be worse.
"(IKEA's) slowest time statistically is between 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. in the evenings, and they do 50 percent of their sales on the weekend," Fadness said. "So in reality, if you were going to build a 300,000-square-foot-building in this area, if it were office versus this facility, we’re actually from a traffic perspective better off with this facility."
Fadness is also in the process of overseeing several infrastructure improvements that should improve traffic flow in the area. Crews are adding an eastbound lane to 116th Street and finishing up the new 106th Street interchange on I-69.