IKEA Stoughton Expansion Plans Get Thumbs Up from Zoning Board
IKEA announced plans to expand the self-serve furniture area/warehouse of its Stoughton location by almost 60,000 square feet. The Stoughton Planning Board still needs to sign off on the application for site plan approval.
After IKEA announced on Wednesday that it planned to expand the Self-Serve Furniture Area and warehouse of its Stoughton store, company representatives appeared at a joint meeting of the Stoughton Zoning Board of Appeals and Stoughton Planning Board Thursday evening seeking approval for the approximate 60,000 square foot expansion.
The ZBA approved relief for three zoning variances, allowing the project to move forward, so long as the ZBA signs off on the written decisions which will be drafted by attorney Leonard Simons, who is representing IKEA.
The Planning Board voted to continue the hearing on the application for site plan approval to its next meeting on April 11, wanting more time to review updated plans which had come in the day before Thursday's meeting.
IKEA Stoughton, which opened November 2005 at 357,000 square feet in size, will grow nearly 58,575 square feet to the new size of approximately 415,575 square feet, as a result of this expansion, according to a press release from the company.
Construction activity is expected to begin by this fall (2013), with an expected completion by fall 2014, the release states. The store will remain open and operational during construction, maintaining its full product offering.
In what is a "symptom" of the store's success, IKEA Stoughton can't keep its shelves fully stocked because of a lack of space, Simons told both boards during their joint meeting in the Yaitanes Room.
Right now there are about six trailers on site any given day storing items that should be in the stores, Simons said. This expansion should be a solution to this issue, eliminating the need for the trailers.
The proposed expansion will be where the Self-Serve Furniture Area and warehouse is currently located, on the west side of the building.
"This extension will blend into the existing structure so the store can maintain the unique architectural design for which IKEA stores are known worldwide," according to the release. So, in essence, it's a continuation of what already exists, Simons said. The current building will extend out over the open parking area next to the current parking garage exit.
The extension, like the rest of the building, will also be elevated. This was the more expensive option, but the one that retains the largest number of parking spaces, Simons said. There are just over 1,600 spaces currently available on site and the expansion will result in the loss of only about 70-75 spaces, which the company does not anticipate being an issue, Simons said.
Company officials estimate the project will create about 200 construction jobs, but not additional retail jobs since it is warehouse and self-service space.
The customer count is expected to remain the same, although it is expected customers may spend more, because more products will be available, Simons said.
The Zoning Board voted to have Simons draft a decision granting relief for three zoning variances: one so that IKEA can put the large yellow "IKEA" sign up again once the new side of the building is up; one for the removal of earth materials to construct the addition; and one allowing for the construction itself.
The ZBA limited construction to 6 a.m. until 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday (trucks can leave up until 8:30 p.m.) and limited blasting to 7 a.m. until 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.
There are currently 340 IKEA stores in 41 countries, including 38 in the U.S. The Stoughton location is the only one in New England north of the New Haven, CT store.