OAK CREEK -- You may have driven by it dozens, maybe hundreds of times since the blue and yellow signs have gone up. On Tuesday, Jan. 23, IKEA officials offered a first look inside the new Oak Creek store -- months before it opens.
"Very unique layout. It's going to be great," said Samantha Gravina, Oak Creek IKEA.
On the outside Tuesday, it looked like the IKEA you are familiar with. On the inside -- a construction site.
"So this will have a strong neighborhood feel, so you'll see that actually we'll have full home displays for you to go in and out of," said Gravina.
The store's manager said the store is unique in more ways than one.
"I'm actually very excited to be working in a one-story format," said Gravina. "The Chicago stores are both two-story and three-story."
The 291,000-square-foot store will hold the entire IKEA catalog, said Gravina, but before products can be shipped in, the building needs to be ready. Workers were busy installing vents for months to meet deadlines.
"Heating, air and ventilation here. All the rooftops -- we set all the rooftops here with a helicopter. There were 37 of them," said Paul Lindemann, construction worker.
In addition to the furniture, crews were also hard at work on the food court, which will offer up their famous meatballs. Workers said it is just one more reason to get excited about the opening.
"We may come down and take a look at it. I live a ways away from here, but yeah people are pretty pumped about it," said Lindemann.
Building a new store isn't quite as easy as assembling your furniture.
Officials said the Oak Creek IKEA will feature nearly 10,000 exclusively designed items, 50 inspirational room-settings, three model home interiors, a supervised children’s play area, and a 300-seat restaurant serving Swedish specialties such as meatballs with lingonberries and salmon plates.
An exact opening date hasn't been set for the Oak Creek IKEA, but managers said they are planning to have a grand opening this summer.