Early look inside long-awaited Jacksonville Ikea store

Swedish furniture giant set to open 1st North Florida location this fall

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Despite some challenges with rain, construction of the highly anticipated Jacksonville Ikea store is on schedule and doors are still set to open this fall. 

News4Jax on Thursday got a hard-hat tour of the progress being made inside the Swedish furniture giant's 290,000-square-foot building off Interstate 295 and Gate Parkway. Just months after the groundbreaking ceremony in November, the construction site looks significantly different.

A unique feature of Ikea's Jacksonville location is that the entire store, including a restaurant and warehouse, will all be on one level -- creating a more convenient shopping experience.

Leontyne Green Sykes, who has signed on to become store manager, took News4Jax inside the building that sits on a 25-acre property just south of the St. Johns Town Center.

"I promise you, when you get in and you start to interact with the furniture, you're going to get lost in here -- from a time standpoint," Sykes said with a smile on her face. "You're going to really enjoy it." 

Skyes showed how customers will follow a specific flow pattern, which will allow them to see everything the store as to offer. 

"You enter into the showroom. We call this the long, natural path," she said. 

PHOTOS: Take an early peek inside Jacksonville Ikea store

Next, Skyes took News4Jax through what will be the supervised play area for children and the store restaurant, which will hold more than 300 seats when the work is done. 

And yes, Ikea's famous Swedish meatballs are on the menu, as well as other Swedish dishes and American cuisine.

"You actually go through the serving line and choose your options," Sykes explained. 

As for shopping, there are plenty of furniture and home decor items to browse through.

Large items will be flat-packed, giving shoppers plenty of options.

"To take it home with you. Or, we also have delivery service as well," Sykes said. 

There's still quite a bit of work ahead, but the goal is still have the store up and running by this fall. The team, as well as many Northeast Florida residents, couldn't be more excited. 

"This is the start of what will be a phenomenally beautiful building and a beautiful relationship with Jacksonville," Sykes said. 

The Ikea's Jacksonville location will also be bringing hundreds of jobs to the River City. The company will be hiring more than 250 workers, and many positions are already posted online.

To apply to work at the Ikea, click here.

There are currently four Ikea locations in Florida, but the Jacksonville store will be the first in North Florida. There are 41 Ikea stores in the U.S. and more than 300 stores worldwide.

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