New Ikea in Burbank Would Be One of Largest in U.S.

The chain wants to move one of its smallest U.S. stores into a new location nearby that could become its biggest

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    Ikea
    A rendering of a proposed new Ikea store in Burbank, which would be one of the largest in the country.

    Need an Ektorp? How about a Grundtal? A Billy bookshelf?

    You and few thousand other Ikea customers will have loads of room to inspect those popular products from the Swedish furniture retailer if the chain's plans for a giant new Burbank location are realized.

    The proposed new Ikea in Burbank would be the size of eight football fields, making it one of the largest in the county.

    Ikea announced plans Thursday to relocate and rebuild its Burbank location into a megastore that would nearly double its existing location in the city.

    The new 470,000-square-foot store would be built on 22 acres about 1 mile away from the current store, which is the first that was built in California and one of the smallest in the country.

    "It is a very, very busy Ikea store currently, so it's really just a matter of providing an enhanced selection for existing customers and enhanced inventory and display," Ikea spokesman Joseph Roth said.

    The store would be bigger than Ikea's largest existing American branch, which is in the Chicago suburbs and is 450,000 square feet, according to Roth.

    Other new U.S. locations could eclipse the size of the proposed new Burbank store, Roth said.

    The new Burbank store, which still needs to be approved by the city of Burbank, would nearly double the existing 242,000-square foot store. The current location was built in 1990 on 6.4 city-owned acres next to Burbank Town Center.

    It would have 1,700 parking spaces, he said.

    The land, west of San Fernando Boulevard and south of Providence Street, once housed film storage company Western Studio Service and is currently home to a mix of light-industrial businesses that would be razed.

    The proposed location, at 805 S. San Fernando Blvd. (map), is currently owned by Crown Realty & Development, Inc., which also operates Burbank Town Center.

    Alongside the planned sale to Ikea – for an amount that Roth would not disclose – Crown is seeking to purchase the Burbank store and gain control of the city-owned land underneath the existing Ikea.
    That deal is complicated by the status of local redevelopment agencies, including Burbank's, which were dissolved by the state.

    The proposal for the new Ikea Burbank must go through city planning and environmental review, Roth said.

    The existing Burbank location would continue to operate until the new store opening, which is planned for fall 2016, the company said.

    Founded in Sweden in 1943, there are currently more than 330 Ikea stores across the world, including 38 in the United States. In addition to the Burbank location, Ikea has four other stores in Southern California: in Carson, Costa Mesa, Covina and San Diego.

    Ikea's largest store, at about 594,000 square feet, is in suburban Stockholm. The next four largest are in China, according to Roth.