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IKEA to build huge Joliet distribution center

2/22/2015, 10:40 p.m.
The facility will be built in the Laraway Crossings Business Park, pending Joliet City Council approval.
IKEA's new Midwest distribution center would service the company's Bolingbrook store, seen here, and others.

IKEA has announced plans to open a Midwest distribution center in Joliet's Laraway Crossings Business Park to serve its Bolingbrook and Schaumburg stores and others, pending Joliet City Council approval. Here is the company's news release on the project:

IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, announced it is submitting final plans to the City of Joliet, IL that would advance the development of its previously approved Midwestern distribution center.

The Swedish company received initial governmental approvals from the City and purchased the land in 2007, in anticipation of an expanded retail presence in the Midwest.

City approval of these updated plans would pave the way for proceeding with a building permit application. It is anticipated that construction on the facility could begin as early as this Fall, 2015, with its being fully operational in Summer 2017.

Planned on 72 acres at the Laraway Crossings Business Park in Joliet, IL, 48 miles southwest of Chicago, the approximately 1.4-million-square-foot distribution center would serve the inventory needs of at least 10 IKEA stores throughout the Midwestern U.S., as well as customer fulfillment.

Goods received by the Joliet facility will reflect the nearly 10,000 exclusively designed items currently sold at all IKEA stores worldwide. With more than 1,300 suppliers in 54 countries, IKEA globally transports products to its stores through regional distribution centers.

This Midwestern warehouse will complement the current distribution network comprised of two distribution centers on the west coast and three on the east. Its central location will allow goods to be received at coastal ports from both Asia and Europe and then transported inland to the Joliet facility. The facility’s proximity to a nearby railroad intermodal will provide additional long-term transportation options too.

Operating this distribution center will eliminate 5,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually, with even more reductions expected via intermodal solutions.

“We have known for some time now that Joliet was the perfect location for our distribution hub in the Midwest, so we are pleased our Midwestern presence has grown to the point where we need this terminal to be up and running in 2017,” said IKEA U.S. CFO Rob Olson.

“We appreciate the City of Joliet’s cooperation and patience that allowed us to plan long-term and reach this point today.”

In terms of contributing to the local economy, this project will result in construction-related jobs and positions at the distribution center, in addition to property tax revenue generated for local governments and schools. IKEA also will evaluate potential on-site power generation to complement its current U.S. renewable energy presence at nearly 90% of its U.S. locations. This project represents the fourth significant investment by IKEA in the state of Illinois.

Besides the future Joliet distribution center, there are two IKEA stores in the Chicagoland area, one each in Bolingbrook and Schaumburg. And, last year, IKEA announced it was purchasing a 49-turbine wind farm in Hoopeston, IL that is on track to be operational this spring.

Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered home furnishings of good design and function at low prices so the majority of people can afford them. There are currently more than 360 IKEA stores in 47 countries, including 40 in the U.S., where there also are 5 operating distribution center.