It certainly wasn’t the news residents in Nashville wanted to hear – IKEA has decided not to build a store in Antioch.
The company, under the leadership of a new CEO, has decided with a rapidly changing retail environment, to scrap plans for urban city centers and will focus on e-commerce.
Antioch is the fastest growing area of Davidson County, so many were looking to IKEA as another huge economic boost to the area, but there is still hope.
Just when residents started to smell the roses in Antioch, they were disappointed by the IKEA news.
“It is disappointing, as I’ve stated before, but one of the things I do know is that IKEA was a small piece of an overall 300-acre development,” Metro Council District 32 Representative Jacobia Dowell said. “Their footprint was about 30-acres of 300-acres of development.”
Dowell said it’s certainly a lost for the community, but IKEA is not going to make or break Antioch.
“It was a big win to have them chose a location in the Southeast area, however, it’s not a show stopper.”
Several city council members said despite IKEA not coming to Antioch, the Century Farms development will move forward, and they are hoping for something bigger and better to take its place.
“This area is being marketed daily,” Dowell said. “We do have commitments from other retailers, other hotels, other entertainment type ventures that are looking to come into the area that have identified parcels and spaces within this development. Again, you’re talking about 33,000 million square feet of space and IKEA was taking up 300,000 square feet of it, so, about 10 percent of it.”
The owners of Century Farms, Oldacre McDonald, released a memo about IKEA’s decision.
As part of its corporate strategy, IKEA has tabled development of many stores across the country, including at Nashville’s 300+ acre Century Farms development. Although we are disappointed to learn this, we are equally excited about the numerous projects and types of developmentsthat are in the pipeline for Century Farms, including national retailers and restaurants, hospitality and commercial use.
Healthcare company, CHS, has already invested $66 million in Century Farms, bringing with it 2,000 jobs before Its all said and done.
This mixed-use development is prime for the taking.
“This is a jewel to us,” Dowell said. “This area has prime visibility right off the interstate where millions of cars pass through every single day, so, it’s a valuable piece of property and we know that Nashville is red hot market.”
Councilwoman Dowell is holding out hope that IKEA will reconsider Antioch.
“I do believe that there is tremendous opportunity in our market for IKEA and I do believe that in the future that we will be part of their growth strategy. However, they decide to model their business to take into account you know future e-commerce, online shopping and so forth,” she said.
New Interstate improvements are scheduled to be made to the Hickory Hollow, Exit 60.
Tennessee Department of Transportation officials told News 2 plans are to move forward with the improvements.
TDOT said the improvements are needed because of growth and other developments at Century Farms will still happen.
“That development is a huge development and, you know, they’ve already got an office building there and some other things happening,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. “We’ve been working with Metro and the NPO on that project. We’re going forward right now with the final design on it. As of now we don’t see any change in that.”
TDOT officials also tell News 2, the I-24 Interchange project is scheduled to be put up for bid in June.