Retail supergiant Ikea has announced it will be expanding into the real estate industry, revealing a 26-acre eco-friendly property development near Olympic Park in London. The development, named Strand East, is designed to contain 480,000 square feet of offices, 1,200 new homes and a 350-bedroom hotel in Stratford, east London.
This is the first major development in Britain for LandProp, part of the Inter Ikea Group, owner of the intellectual assets of the chain of stores. This is the second largest private sector project in Olympic Park, second to the Westfield Stratford City shopping centre that opened in September.
“Not only does it create a new high quality, waterside destination which provides new homes, jobs and leisure facilities, it is a demonstration of investor confidence in the area’s future in a difficult market,” says Olympic Legacy Minister Bob Neill.
The property, known to some as a “mini Venice” due to its canalside location, will consist of a floating cocktail bar and boat taxi service. The development company already operates establishments in Lithuania, Poland, Latvia and Holland.
With Ikea UK’s goal to run on 100% renewable energy, I’m curious to know what percentage of this property will run on renewables right off the bat. There’s little doubt, given Ikea’s other sustainability initiatives, that efforts will made to reduce its carbon footprint. We certainly hope so.