Swedish furniture maker IKEA has canceled its plans to open a store in Cary, CBS 17 confirmed Wednesday.
The surprising announcement comes after a flurry of activity in Cary in 2017 to make way for a new store.
Cary Town Manager Sean R. Stegall released a statement where he said IKEA’s real estate manager said the company decided to cancel the Cary location because of their “evolving business model.”
“They are moving away from suburban big box retail outlets and into global city centers. We are obviously very disappointed,” Stegall said.
Stegall said there is nothing the Town could do to bring IKEA to Cary.
“I was told that there was nothing; not even an incentive would make a difference. IKEA said they had an extremely positive view of and experience with the Town Council, our staff, the mall site, and Cary as a whole,” Stegall said.
IKEA’s plan had called for a 359,000 square foot building as well as 1,000 parking spaces at Cary Towne Center.
CBL Properties, which manages Cary Towne Center, said they are disappointed by the announcement.
“We are certainly disappointed with IKEA’s decision to pull out of the project. IKEA was an important component of our multi-phase plans to redevelop Cary Towne Center into a vibrant mixed-use center,” CBL Properties told CBS 17’s Amy Cutler.
Many Cary residents were upset with the decision.
“I would have thought it would have been really good for our community to get something that big here,” Parker Zimmerman, a lifelong Cary resident said.
Cary Town Center shopper Janine Cooper added: “I was hoping it would revive the Cary Towne Center because I know a lot of the stores have been closing and its so sad like walk into the stores and see like everything is gone.”
The project would have seen the demolition of the old Macy’s and Sears.
IKEA had said it intended for the Cary location to open in the fall of 2020.
The current closest IKEA is in Charlotte.
CBS 17 will update this story as it develops.
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