Last year, Swedish furniture giant IKEA bought a 20-hectare property in the Rae Municipality village of Kurna, outside of Tallinn, where it plans to build its first full-sized store in Estonia. The company hopes to secure a building permit from the municipality sometime this year.
After half a year of talks, Rae Municipality and IKEA ultimately chose as the location for the future store a property in the village of Kurna, on the border of Rae and Kiili Municipalities. Rae Municipal Council decided in mid-October to sell the property to the furniture company, despite the fact that the council's budget and economic committee had recommended placing the property up for public auction instead.
IKEA Baltic Retail Manager Johannes Johannesson told ERR on Monday that the property transaction has since been completed and the drawing up of detailed plans begun.
The company plans on opening Estonia's first full-sized IKEA store at this location, located adjacent to Tallinn Ring Road. According to Johannesson, Inter IKEA Systems is currently working on the future building's basic design. "After that, the project will be handed over to local Estonian companies," he added.
Mart Võrklaev, who was mayor of Rae Municipality at the time, said prior to the signing of the purchase agreement in October that the developer, i.e. IKEA, intended to reach the building permit stage as soon as possible. Johannesson noted that the hope is to secure the building permit sometime this year.
"Our goal is to secure the building permit before the end of 2020," he said. "The current plan foresees the completion of the IKEA store within three or four years."
Rae Deputy Municipal Mayor Priit Põldmae said in October that IKEA representatives had promised to build a new exit off of Tallinna ringtee, roundabouts on the property, as well as collector roads. IKEA offered the municipality €10 plus VAT per square meter for the property, bringing the total price for the property to €2 million.
IKEA also agreed with the municipality's condition to pay the majority of the cost by concluding a contract under the law of obligations, and one third after planning took place.
Approximately 20 hectares in size, the Põlluvälja property, adjacent to Tallinn Ring Road, is located some 10 kilometers outside of Tallinn, and a few kilometers away each from Jüri and Kiili.
IKEA: Pickup point doing good work
IKEA first entered the Estonian market in August 2019, launching an online store together with a brick-and-mortar pickup point on Peterburi Road in Tallinn's Lasnamäe District.
According to Johannesson, the company has managed despite long wait times caused by its popularity.
"We are very glad to see that the people of Estonia have so warmly embraced Estonia's online store and Tallinn pickup point," he said. "We are also very pleased with how the online store and pickup point have managed public interest."
How popular a full-sized store in Kurna will prove to be, however, is anybody's guess, but Johannesson added that the company does not wish to speculate at the moment regarding any further expansion plans in Estonia.
Editor: Aili Vahtla