The rumors are true: St. Louis is getting an IKEA.
The Swedish furniture store made it official Wednesday, building sample furniture displays and passing out catalogs to city officials eager to see the international retailer -- and the 1,000 jobs it's bringing -- to St. Louis in fall of 2015.
"Welcome to St. Louis, we're glad you're here," Mayor Francis Slay told the blue-and-yellow clad IKEA representatives. "We have a lot to offer, and you will not be sorry for bringing your brand here to St. Louis."
The two-story store will sit on 21 acres in midtown on the north side of Interstate 64 near the Vandeventer Avenue exit. Covered parking will be available below the store.
IKEA doesn't open new stores often, but a St. Louis location puts the retailer within reach of six states and eight metro areas not currently within easy driving distance of an IKEA. Until now, the closest store to St. Louis was 250 miles away.
St. Louis' IKEA will feature nearly 10,000 items in more than 50 showrooms and three home interiors, including a self-service section with boxed furniture ready to assemble.
Food markets and a 450-seat cafeteria will serve cookies, cheese, hot dogs, frozen yogurt and, yes, the store's famous Swedish meatballs.
"We are thrilled to be in St. Louis," says Joseph Roth, U.S. public affairs manager for IKEA. "We are now ready to bring a little more Sweden into Missouri."
Continue reading to see the store's full announcement.