The Research Triangle area of North Carolina is booming these days.Census numbers from 2013 shows that area population has crept past the two million threshold, which makes the area the second largest metro region in the state behind Charlotte. The region is anchored by Duke University, North Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and local residents have seen some big changes since the days when the area was only known for the strength of its college basketball programs.
As the News Observer shares, another big change is on the way, as IKEA has targeted the area for its second location in the state.
“We are excited about the opportunity for a potential second North Carolina IKEA store at this location in Cary,” a statement from IKEA US president Lars Petersson read in part. “A store in the Raleigh area would complement our strong presence established in Charlotte and eventually provide customers in central and eastern North Carolina an IKEA store closer to them.”
As Petersson mentioned, Charlotte already has its own IKEA, which opened back in 2009. The retail giant has a spot picked out in the Cary Towne Center, and development plans and rezoning requests have been submitted to the Cary Town Council. CBL & Associates Properties, the mall’s owner, has been working towards revitalizing the property, and IKEA would go along way towards making that happen.
“IKEA would be a significant draw to Cary Towne Center, attracting customers from across central and eastern North Carolina,” CBL spokeswoman Stacey Keating said. “While plans have not been finalized, we are encouraged by IKEA’s announcement and will continue to work through the town’s approval process.”
Based on what local councilman Don Frantz had to say, the chances of those plans getting the green light seem pretty good.
“We are so excited that IKEA wants to come to Cary, and we will do everything we can to make this happen,” he said.
The Triangle area has been targeted by a number of large retailers of late. Grocery chain Wegmans has its sights set on a site not too far from where the new IKEA would slide in, so it’s quite clear this region’s boom will not be slowing down anytime soon.
“IKEA recognizes the customer base that exists for us in the Raleigh-Durham area and always has acknowledged that, long term, the metro area could support an IKEA store,” said IKEA spokesman Joseph Roth.