But the rumors, as it turns out, were false. Daily RFT
touched base with IKEA spokesman Joseph Roth last week, and he assured us that the Swedish furniture behemoth still
has absolutely no plans to locate in St. Louis any time soon -- much less to a strip mall in Ballwin.
Questioned about the apparently specificity of the buzz we were hearing, Roth sounded decidedly amused. "I can't explain that all," he said.
For one thing, as he notes, a strip mall would hardly be big enough for IKEA's giant store model. "I can tell that we need 30 acres of land --and we build from the ground up," he said. Equally importantly, "once we have final plans, I hold a press conference."
Roth added, kindly, that his company recognizes that St. Louis is a "large metro area that down the road could support an IKEA store," but, again, "currently, we have no plans to come there."
Anything to the contrary, folks, is just wishful thinking.
The rumors were exciting -- and shockingly specific. IKEA was coming to St. Louis, to a strip mall on Manchester Road in Ballwin! The deal had apparently been in the works for at least six months! Insiders knew everything, but had been told to keep quiet.