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This article was published 19/11/2009 (3643 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
WINNIPEG - The newest IKEA project begins this morning with a shovel, not an Allen wrench.
Developers will attend today a symbolic sod-turning at the site that will eventually house Manitoba’s first IKEA, the iconic chain famous for furniture that consumers assemble with special six-sided wrenches. Actual construction begins this fall.
The sprawling parking lot at Winnipeg’s first IKEA store should exceed city standards for greenery, as the furniture chain promises to plant four times as many trees, shrubs and grasses around its Tuxedo Yards store than zoning regulations demand.
Within the next two weeks, Winnipeg developer Fairweather Properties and its partner, IKEA Canada, will break ground on the preliminary infrastructure required to create the 1.5-million-square-foot shopping complex called the Seasons of Tuxedo, which will be anchored by a 350,000-square-foot IKEA store at the southwest corner of Sterling Lyon Parkway and Kenaston Boulevard.
By 2018, the entire development — which will include other retailers, office space and possibly a hotel and multiple-screen movie theatre — could encompass 80 hectares on either side of Sterling Lyon and feature 7,517 parking stalls.
IKEA Canada plans to mitigate the environmental effect of all that asphalt by beefing up the vegetation around its own store from the five per cent demanded by the Winnipeg Zoning Bylaw to closer to 20 per cent, spokeswoman Madeleine Löwenborg-Frick said Thursday.
Under its agreement with the city, IKEA has already committed to planting vegetation to separate every 20 to 30 rows of parking stalls. It also plans to plant more trees, shrubs and grasses around the perimeter of the lot, Löwenborg-Frick explained.
"We need the parking, but we can also have green space. We don’t need to compromise one for the other," she said.
"This will be way beyond the city minimums," added Michael Nozick, Fairweather Properties’ president.
Before construction begins this fall, water and sewer pipes will be brought in to service the industrial site, which is considered a brownfield despite the presence of some aspen stands. Construction on the roadwork required to make the development happen will begin in 2010, Nozick said.
Extra lanes will be added to Kenaston Boulevard, Sterling Lyon Parkway and Shaftesbury Boulevard to accommodate the traffic, while new traffic signals will be erected alongside Sterling Lyon.
"It’s just an enormous amount of work," said Nozick of the $26.5 million worth of infrastructure improvements, which Fairweather and IKEA Canada are conducting up front. The city and province will pay back the developers to the tune of $22 million.
More detailed site plans will be made public early in 2010, Nozick and Löwenborg-Frick said.