IKEA stakes a bold future in Burbank

IKEA’s surprise announcement this week that it was moving ahead with plans to expand in a huge way must have sent a collective sigh of relief through City Hall, where just days before a complicated, redevelopment-related land deal to hold on to the retailer was frosted by the state.

The Europeans apparently know how to keep their ace card a secret, announcing a separate deal Thursday with a real estate company to acquire 22 acres less than one mile from the current IKEA location. Nearly double in size, the proposed new store will not only have more square footage for roommates to argue over shelving units, but will also bring in significantly more sales tax revenue.

Taken together with a planned Walmart — take a deep breath and realize it’s essentially certain — Burbank stands to reap the rewards of being a city where big business wants a stake in the ground. And, as an added bonus, IKEA’s planned move to the 805 S. San Fernando Blvd. property will likely have a ripple effect on the corridor.

It will be impossible to estimate the true impact of the larger IKEA, planned for 2016, until we see the ripple effect it has on the San Fernando Boulevard corridor. But one thing is certain: more college students, young families and singles pouring into Burbank can only be a good thing, especially in a post-recession recovery.

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