When creating a new store, Ikea looks for acres and acres for inexpensive land. Such efforts explain its decision to locate in the far western Chicagoland suburbs, the Sharonville suburb of Cincinnati, and across from the Newark (NJ) airport. The Swedish retailer deviated from its location analysis when it decided to locate in the more urban Cortex bioscience district in St. Louis. Four factors influenced Ikea's decision.
- Highway visibility. The store will abut the heavily traveled I-64 / US-40.
- A MetroLink station. A new station will be built less than a mile from the announced location.
- Target market access. Downtown St. Louis is witnessing a gentrification boom. Along with nearby residences, Ikea will draw from St. Louis University as well as Washington University. Additionally, interstates intersect near the announced location, which expand the trade radius.
- TIF availability. Ikea's property tax remains frozen with half of the city sales tax paying for infrastructure improvements and changes.
The amount of retail economic activity created by the Ikea remains to be seen. The area has gentrified for several years as the areas to the west and south enjoyed their economic revival.