Ikea Winnipeg to open Nov. 28

Attention all shoppers: furniture retail giant Ikea will open its Winnipeg store on Nov. 28.
Winnipeg's long-awaited Ikea store will open on Nov. 28, according to store officials, who gave reporters a tour of the construction site. 1:42

Ikea's opening day in Winnipeg will be Nov. 28.

The big blue and yellow building near Sterling Lyon Parkway and Kenaston Boulevard has been under construction since late 2011.

Store manager Stephen Bobko also gave media a tour on Wednesday of the Swedish furniture retailer's 390,000-square-foot building, which will have 40 checkouts, 55 showrooms, a 650-seat restaurant — one of the largest in Canada, with the largest kids' playground of any Ikea location — and revolving doors, which will a first among Ikea stores in the country.

"It is a 1.3-kilometre walk from our front door to our checkouts, so I think … that's huge," Bobko said.

The store's warehouse will also be Ikea's largest in Canada, so customers can go home with their purchased furniture on the same day, he added.

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About 3,000 people have applied to work at the Winnipeg store, and Bobko said 300 will be hired.

Ikea will be an anchor tenant in a massive big-box development, called Seasons of Tuxedo, that will turn about 80 hectares of industrial land into the largest development the city has seen in 25 years.

It calls for 1.5 million square feet of commercial and residential development, including restaurants, grocery stores and the possibility of a 100-room hotel, 500-unit condo building and 16-screen movie theatre.

Work on the entire big-box development is expected to take about 12 years to complete and will be done in stages, starting with the Ikea property.

Fairweather Properties, the company developing the area around the Ikea store, has already fronted the $26.5 million it will cost to upgrade streets and other infrastructure.

The Manitoba government has paid back $8 million of that amount to Fairweather, while the City of Winnipeg says it will cover $14 million.

The city intends to pay its share of the money to the developer through incremental taxes that will be generated from the Seasons of Tuxedo over a 12-year period starting in 2014, a city spokesman said in an email to CBC News.

If the amount of taxes collected ends up being less than $14 million, the city says the developer will absorb the remaining amount.