ikea

Construction on the Ikea store for southwest Winnipeg is expected to begin in the summer. (CBC)

Swedish furniture giant Ikea plans to open its Winnipeg store in late 2012.

Previously, company spokespeople would only estimate an opening date of sometime between late 2011 and 2013.

The company is still waiting for infrastructure work in the area to be completed before they begin building on the site at Sterling Lyon Parkway and Kenaston Boulevard in southwest Winnipeg, said spokeswoman Madeleine Löwenborg-Frick.

That work should be done by summer and then the company's developers will be ready to put their shovels in the ground.

The retailer's 350,000-square-foot store will be the anchor tenant in a massive big-box development that will turn about 80 hectares of industrial land into the largest development the city has seen in 25 years.

It is expected to take about 12 years to complete the entire development of the site.

It will be done in stages, starting with the Ikea property and followed by more than one million square feet of commercial and residential development , including the possibility of a 100-room hotel, 500-unit condo building and 16-screen movie theatre.