Ikea expected to have big impact on Dartmouth Crossing
Dartmouth Crossing GM: 'Since Ikea's announcement we are seeing several files move more quickly'
Construction hasn't even started on Dartmouth Crossing's Ikea store, but some businesses are already claiming turf in the shopping area's vacant spaces, hoping to enjoy the benefits of living next to the retail giant.
Ikea announced in January it will build a full-sized store in the shopping area — the only one in the Maritimes — that's expected to open in 2017.
"Since Ikea's announcement, we are seeing several files move more quickly," said Dartmouth Crossing General Manager Ann-Louise McKinnon.
"Construction of the expansion area is happening north of Wright Avenue and it's now well underway."
Landing Ikea was a big win for the Dartmouth Crossing administration. The shopping area has a number of vacant spaces, but all that could change.
Several new shops have recently been opened including a new Stitches Warehouse Outlet, Suzy Shier, Party City and Jiffy Lube.
A new Bombay store is set to open next month and Cabela's Hunting, Fishing & Outdoor Gear Store is planning to build a new shop that will open its doors in 2017 — the same as Ikea.
A benefit to other businesses
Once Ikea's massive 30,500-square-metre store opens, it could have a big impact on surrounding businesses.
"Ikea is an iconic retail brand and it's been successful worldwide," said Ramesh Venkat, the director of the Sobey Centre for Innovation in Retailing and Services at Saint Mary's University.
The new Ikea store is expected to employ 350 people. Another 100 to 150 jobs will be created just to build the store, which will include a restaurant.
"With three Target stores closing here in HRM, a lot of people who work in retail are now out of work," said Venkat.
"So this is going to be welcome news for them."
It's not just stores, but the service industry that could also benefit, says the councillor for the area.
"A lot of people will travel and they'll go to the hotels when they come from outside," said Coun. Tony Mancini. "There's going to be another hotel in Dartmouth Crossing."