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Blue exterior panels going up on IKEA’s Oak Creek project

Contractors erect blue panels Tuesday, Sept. 12 on the exterior of the new Ikea location under construction in Oak Creek. The location, the first in Wisconsin, is expected to be open next summer. (Staff photo by Kevin Harnack)

Contractors erect blue panels on the exterior of the new Ikea under construction in Oak Creek on Tuesday. The location, the first in Wisconsin, is expected to be open next summer. (Staff photo by Kevin Harnack)

Things were pretty blue around the Oak Creek IKEA job site on Tuesday morning, and that’s exactly the way officials at the Swedish furniture retailer wanted it.

Tuesday marked a milestone in the construction of the 290,000-square-foot store that IKEA is putting up on a 29-acre site at the northwestern corner of Interstate 94 and Drexel Avenue. Company officials noted that the building’s steel framing had progressed far enough to allow crews to begin installing blue composite panels, a mainstay building feature on IKEA’s stores.

Lars Petersson, president of IKEA U.S., said that with Tuesday’s milestone, the project is still on track to be finished in time for the store to open in summer 2018. The project team broke ground in June.

“We hope to be enclosed by winter, and cannot wait to begin transforming the building’s interior to look like an IKEA store as well,” Petersson said in a written statement.

The new Milwaukee-area IKEA is the company’s first location in the state. The store will feature nearly 10,000 items, 50 room-settings, three model-home interiors, a supervised children’s play area and a 300-seat restaurant.

The project is expected to generate 500 jobs during construction, and 250 people will work in the store once it’s up and running.

Illinois-based Pepper Construction is overseeing the project. The contractor has worked with IKEA in the past. The stores it has built include those now found in Bolingbrook, Ill., and Schaumburg, Ill., both in the Chicago area.

Pepper Construction also recently worked on The Corners retail and commercial project in Brookfield.

Others working on the project include: Milwaukee-based Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren as local land-use counsel; the Milwaukee-based firm GRAEF, performing civil-engineering work; Dublin, the Ohio-based WD Partners, which provided architectural, structural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing designs; the Los Angeles-based CBRE, which provided site-selection support; Canada-based Stantec, which provided environmental services; and GreenbergFarrow, of Atlanta, which provided development services.

About Alex Zank, alex.zank@dailyreporter.com

Alex Zank is a construction reporter for The Daily Reporter. He can be reached at 414-225-1820.

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