It's been almost a year since a flatbed truck carrying the giant yellow letters I, K, E and A through town reignited St. Louis' IKEA fever.
Alas, the twelve-foot letters were destined for Kansas City's store, which opened in September, and not for the Lou, where construction officially began in June.
Now St. Louis is getting its own I, K, E and A -- for real this time.
The Swedish furniture retailer plans to hang the words "IKEA" and "home furnishings" on all four sides of the 380,000-square-foot store at Interstate 64 and Vandeventer Avenue in the Cortex Innovation District, starting at noon Wednesday. IKEA hopes to have the letters hung by Friday as long as the cold and snow do not cause any delays.
A crane will hang each of the letters, which range in size from four feet to fifteen feet, onto the blue exterior of the store. Why blue and yellow? Because those are the colors of the Swedish flag, of course.
The store is scheduled to open in fall 2015. The only publicized construction delay so far happened in June when workers unearthed a human corpse, likely buried in the mid-1800s, and the city had to scan the ground for more graves.
IKEA St. Louis will house nearly 10,000 items, three model home interiors, a children's play area and a 450-seat restaurant.
Starting this spring, the store will begin hiring 300 employees for sales, decorating, customer service, security, cashier, management and warehouse jobs. IKEA is hiring about 70 food-service workers to staff its restaurant, Swedish food market, cafe bistro and the employee cafeteria.