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IKEA expansion gets OK, resident vow to fight on

August 27, 2010 12:00:13 AM PDT
Swedish home furnishings giant IKEA got the go-ahead Thursday to add a warehouse a few blocks from its existing East Bay store -- an addition opposed by neighbors.

There is no denying the power of IKEA. The Emeryville store attracts crowds of people from all over the Bay Area.

But hose shoppers did not show up at Thursday night's planning commission meeting. Scores of angry residents, however, did.

"There is no way it's not going to drastically reduce our quality of life," resident Marcia Dubois said.

Residents want IKEA to stay where it is and not expand into their neighborhood. But the company says it needs to grow.

"We've always worked with the city, we have always acted in good faith," IKEA vice president of real estate Doug Greenholz said.

IKEA executives say the store is a huge success and they have outgrown their current location. They want to move their larger items to a warehouse a few blocks away. Customers will still pick out and pay for their items at the original location but then they would drive to the warehouse to get them.

The residents say that would force the customers to travel through their neighborhood.

IKEA has agreed to make improvements to the plan, including an eight-foot sound wall but residents do not think a wall will block out the problems.

Emeryville residents say they are going to appeal the decision to the City Council.


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