MERRIAM, Kan. - The proposed IKEA store for Merriam, Kan., now has the official approval from the city's Planning Commission. Members unanimously approved the store's design Wednesday night.
Drivers will definitely take notice of the dark-blue-and-yellow building as they pass by on Interstate 35 near Johnson Drive. The 350,000-square-foot store will have a 100-foot-tall sign to lure in shoppers.
"We are a regional draw, so there is definitely a reason for customers to see in advance where IKEA is located so they know where to exit the freeway in advance," said Joseph Roth, IKEA director of public affairs.
The size and number of signs concerned the Planning Commission before the project received approval.
"It's going to reform the landscape out here," said Merriam City Administrator Phil Lammers.
It will be a physical and financial transformation.
The city hired an independent consultant who estimates yearly sales to reach nearly $83 million. It will give Merriam hundreds of thousands of dollars annually in sales tax revenue. That money will go toward improving streets, parks and other city property.
The store will employ 300 workers and is slated to open in fall 2014.
IKEA next goes before the Merriam City Council on Dec. 17 to discuss financing.