BROOKLYN, OH (WOIO) - IKEA has pulled out of a deal to build a new store in Brooklyn, OH.
The 15-acre site was supposed to be the first step in expanding the world's leading home furnishings retailer in northeast Ohio. Andi Udris, the economic development director for the city of Brooklyn, says we're one of the largest metropolitan areas that does not have an Ikea store.
"It's just sad that we haven't been able to sit down with the federal government and work out the mitigation, because with the state of Ohio EPA, and all the other communities involved, we could have had jobs. We could have had new investment. We could have protected our wetlands and our waterways, and now we ending up losing," explained Udris.
According to IKEA's Public Affairs Manager Joseph Roth, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told them the land was not suitable for building.
Roth released the following statement:
"We recognize the customer base that exists for us in Northeast Ohio, and are disappointed that the Brooklyn site will not be develop-able for a potential Cleveland-area IKEA store. While the most recent location we were evaluating is not advancing, we will continue to evaluate opportunities as they arise."
The group claimed the store would permanently damage one of the last and largest wetlands in the Big Creek watershed. They said it would cause flooding problems and degrade water quality in Big Creek, as well as the Cuyahoga River.
"We really think the Army Corps of Engineers was being very shortsighted with this project. This could have been a win/win for everybody and, unfortunately, they're picking a loser here and that's the people of northeast Ohio," said Udris.
The store was going to be located on Tiedeman Road, just off I-480 next to The Plain Dealer facility.
Slated to open later this year, IKEA was expected to create 500 construction jobs and 350 permanent IKEA jobs.
Roth said they currently do not have another site in mind, forcing northeast Ohioans to travel to Pittsburgh or wait until a Columbus store opens in 2017.
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