A spokesperson for IKEA said the Swedish furniture giant has not set a timeline for building a new store on Franklin Gateway in Marietta, as some Cobb residents grow restless at the perceived delay.
Representatives from IKEA and city officials celebrated the announcement of the planned store last December at a joint news conference at City Hall. It was characterized as a victory for Marietta, which invested heavily in the redevelopment of Franklin Gateway.
Recently, The Marietta Daily Journal raised the possibility that IKEA might not proceed with the store, pointing to the company’s decision to pull out of several other planned locations around the United States.
City spokesperson Lindsey Wiles did not respond directly to speculation about the future of the store. She said that IKEA closed on the city-owned property last April for $9 million, and also closed on an adjacent shopping center that same month.
“Between April and September they worked towards getting all the tenants of the shopping center out so that they could demolish the building,” Wiles wrote in an email. “They filed the demolition permits in September and completed building demolition in mid-November.”
The plan submitted to the city called last year for a 338,000 square-foot store, which would likely employ between 250 and 300 workers.
Noreen Lennon from IKEA wrote the development timeline in Marietta has “not yet” been determined.
“We are continuing to keep in contact with the City regarding our plans,” she added.
Ben Bryant of Roswell said he’s been waiting a year for the new store to open.
“I have put off shopping IKEA until the new store opened,” he wrote in an email. “The Marietta store would be more convenient.”