ARIETTA — Fans of Swedish meatballs and build-it-yourself furniture, rejoice.

Swedish home furniture retailer Ikea is coming to Marietta’s Franklin Gateway with its famous showroom full of hard-to-pronounce furniture.

The retailer will go into a 28-acre property on Franklin Gateway purchased by the city in 2015 for $17.7 million and currently under contract for $9.25 million. The property was formerly the site of the Marquis Place apartment complex. The city bought and razed the dilapidated complex using funding from a $68 million redevelopment bond approved by voters in 2013.

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The 338,000 square-foot shopping center will be the largest single retailer in Cobb County history, according to City Manager Bill Bruton. Bruton said it will be the second largest single retailer in the state, coming in just behind the only other Ikea in Georgia at Atlantic Station. That location, which opened in 2005, is 366,000 square feet. There are currently 47 locations in the United States.

The Marietta Ikea will contain a showroom for shoppers to peruse, a cafeteria featuring Swedish and American dishes and a spot for children to play while parents browse the selection.

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Swedish home furniture retailer Ikea will go into a 28-acre property on Franklin Gateway, seen above, which was purchased by the city in 2015 for $17.7 million and is currently under contract for $9.25 million. The property was formerly the site of the Marquis Place apartment complex. The city bought and razed the dilapidated complex using funding from a $68 million redevelopment bond approved by voters in 2013.

Ikea has also committed to purchasing the 6 acres in front of the property which currently houses a shopping center, which will become part of the store’s parking lot.

The announcement marks the latest in Marietta’s efforts to revitalize Franklin Gateway, which also saw the opening of soccer team Atlanta United’s training facilities earlier this year.

Bruton said Franklin has come a long way in the past 10 years.

“At that point, before the bond and before a lot of the activity we’ve had on Gateway, I wouldn’t have thought they would have opened up one anywhere near the one they have in Atlanta, but the improvements that have been made on Franklin Gateway and all the new jobs that have been created ... it’s exceeded everyone’s expectations,” he said. “I think we all hoped we would get to this point, but I don’t think there were many people who would have thought we’d get here so quickly.”

Bruton said he hopes the new development will bring new jobs and increased sales tax revenue to Franklin Gateway and the city.

“It says great things about Marietta and Cobb County that all these outside entities have so much faith in what’s going on in Marietta that they want to make such huge investments in our community,” he said.

Ikea real estate manager Jim Anastos said choosing to open a store in Marietta was the result of a lot of planning and number crunching.

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IKEA real estate manager Jim Anastos reveals plans for the chain's new Marietta location.

“I did a lot of analysis, a lot of homework,” he said. “I was actually the general manager of the store in Atlantic Station for eight years, so I know the market very well, but I did quite a lot of analysis on our demographics, our customer base, and we evaluated several sites in the Atlanta metro, and we’re sure this will be a home run.”

Anastos said there is no firm date for the company to begin construction or to hold its grand opening. The next step is to get the proper permits and finalize the sale, during which time the corporate office will plan a construction schedule.

He said the typical Ikea employs between 250 and 300 people whose salaries are based on local markets. Hiring announcements will come as plans progress.

Anastos said Ikea stores, which offer exclusive products, draw in customers from far and wide, bringing sales tax revenue into their cities.

“If you go Saturday to the store in Atlantic Station, you’re going to see license plates from four different states,” he said. “People do make a weekend trip out of it.”


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(12) comments

Anonymous Commenter

OK... let me get this straight... Marietta City paid $ 17,700,000 to sell the property for $ 9,250,000. ONLY in Cobb County would that make sense! I wonder how much the City of Marietta spent on improvements before the sale.

Government at Work

My thoughts exactly. You beat me to the punch! I want Marietta to take care of my healthcare. NOT!

Anonymous Commenter

Sometimes it is worth it. Smyrna did the same for a dilapidated apartment complex that trafficked 50% of all the crime calls in the city. A developer bought it for less than the city paid but built 250 SFH which now bring revenue to the city rather than suck off police resources.

Willem Reese

They had to pay for the apartments that they wanted to remove, as well as the land. I suppose they might have been able to leave the structures in place and resell to another slumlord at a profit, but that wasn't the aim of the project.

Gringo Bandito

People will complain that the property was sold at a loss, but getting rid of those apartment complexes was a huge win for the city.

Rich Plent

I have been a skeptic in thFnbRe past but this is a big win for Marietta.

Anonymous Commenter

The investment in IKEA will make us money in City of Marietta, unlike that baseball scam that got pulled on Cobb County that is causing millage rate increases alongside new sales taxes euphemistically referred to with the marketing acronym SPLOST. City of Marietta is now to Cobb as Decatur has long been to DeKalb: an oasis in a sea of suburban stupidity and selfishness

Local Realtor

This will be quite a boost for the City of Marietta but also Cobb County. The Battery complex has alres boon5F2MF and adjacent West Cobb.

Anonymous Commenter

This probably would have happen without the nearby stadium. And no your tax rates are not going up because of the Braves unless you consider your home value going up due to the stadium.

Anonymous Commenter

I meant wouldn’t have happened without the stadium.

Anonymous Commenter

Sorry but I don't get your joke about home values going up due to a baseball stadium. Stadiums are demons of neighborhood ruination. Chain restaurants and parking lots will do well with a stadium added, but homes just get ruined. Don't believe it? Go drive around Turner Field or Georgia Dome / Chrysler Stadium, but don't do it after sunset!

Willem Reese

The area around Turner was already slums...part of the reason the Braves moved. There was little-to-no residential immediately around the new site. The somewhat removed but still relatively nearby areas, like already pricey Vinings, could see a boost in residential desirability, and therefore values.

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