NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Popular home furnishings retailer IKEA unveiled plans Tuesday to open a new store in Norfolk.
IKEA representatives, along with Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim, were on-hand at Slover Library Tuesday to announce the new location, which is slated to open in the summer of 2018.
The closest IKEA stores to the Hampton Roads area at the moment are in Woodbridge, Virginia and Charlotte, North Carolina.
IKEA officials say the new store will be 331,000 square-feet, and feature a 300-seat cafeteria-style restaurant with a wide variety of food between Swedish meatballs and pizza.
“IKEA’s decision to build a new store is a game changer for Norfolk residents and the region,” Norfolk Mayor Paul D. Fraim said on Tuesday.
Speaking at Tuesday, McAuliffe noted that the state put up $9.3 million toward the project. He announced several major changes to roadways surrounding the proposed location at the northwest corner of Interstate 64 and Northampton Boulevard.
McAuliffe says the Northampton Boulevard interchange at I-64 West will be widened from two lanes to four lanes. There will also be a new traffic signal with two lanes going left, and two lanes going right.
The merge lanes going on to I-64 West from Northampton Boulevard will be extended. Of the changes, McAuliffe said, “All of this so more folks can come to IKEA.”
The announcement of a IKEA store is the latest project for the city of Norfolk. In March, it was announced that ADP would be investing $32.5 million for a new location in downtown Norfolk.
IKEA says it is filing plans with the city of Norfolk, and is seeking approval by the fall of 2016. If the plans are approved, IKEA says they hope to break ground on the project in the spring of 2017.