IKEA Inches Closer To Live Oak Opening With Groundbreaking
San Antonio officials broke ground Wednesday on a 112 acre site that will be the first IKEA in the area. This will be Texas’ sixth IKEA store, which is a Swedish company known for supplying fashionable furniture and housewares that require assembly.
The store was first announced in 2016 and is expected to open next spring. It will be the 48th store for IKEA in the U.S., and is expected to serve approximately 180,000 customers in and around San Antonio, said company officials.
“San Antonio has been an area that’s been a void for IKEA. … We were asking people to travel up to Austin to our Round Rock store, or over to Houston so it was really only matter of time before we had a store in the San Antonio area,” said Chuck Coker, real estate and development manager for IKEA in the U.S. The store will employ about 250 people.
The retail space will be known as the Live Oak Town Center and IKEA will take up about 31 aces of the site, or about 290,000 square feet. A remaining 480,000 sq. ft. will be stores for individual retailers and restaurants.
Live Oak Mayor Mary Dennis said she hopes it will be a regional destination shopping center. “This is the most southern store that they have in Texas and so we’ll get our visitors from Mexico, those from down south, and those from the San Antonio area and other neighboring cities,” she said.
Live Oak provided about $27 million in incentives to IKEA, including fee waivers. The store will bring in about $5 million in property and sales taxes to the city annually.
“There’s an incentive program in place that will rebate some of that property and sales tax back to the development until it reaches a certain dollar amount. And once that dollar amount is met the entire amount will come to the city,” said Live Oak City Manager Scott Wayman.
Wayman said it would take about nine years for the property and sales tax revenue to make up for the incentive package.
The store will feature a showroom with 10,000 signature furniture and home items, a supervised children’s play area, and restaurant, according to a company press release. And yes, the Live Oak IKEA will have the company’s famous Swedish meatballs.
Joey Palacios can be reached at Joey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules.