Ikea going to Northwest Plaza

Discuss new retail, dining, business and residential projects within St. Louis County, including Chesterfield, Riverport, Earth City, Westport and more.
By Martin Van Der Werf

Of the Post-Dispatch


FIGURE THIS: Scandinavian design, meet St. Ann? IKEA, the furniture and design superstore, apparently is headed to Northwest Plaza. The once-hot shopping center is down-at-the-heels but seems poised for a major makeover.

Westfield Group, which owns the mall, has been showing plans to potential tenants that include a free-standing IKEA store near the corner of Lindbergh Boulevard and St. Charles Rock Road. Part of the shopping center would be leveled and rebuilt as a "lifestyle center," with stores that open to the outside.

IKEA has been perhaps the most hotly pursued retailer in St. Louis. Westfield officials did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Where did you see this? I can't find it anywhere else.

It was in today's St. Louis Post Dispatch

If IKEA had to be close to the airport for distribution and somewhere between St. Chuck and the Lou for customer base, I'm glad it's St. Ann, and not the Mills. This area of struggling inner-burbs certainly could use an upsurge in activity over the floodplain.

You can also find it on stltoday.com

southslider wrote:
If IKEA had to be close to the airport for distribution and somewhere between St. Chuck and the Lou for customer base, I'm glad it's St. Ann, and not the Mills. This area of struggling inner-burbs certainly could use an upsurge in activity over the floodplain.

I agree - although Mills wouldn't have been too bad, in my opinion.

Glad to see this area getting a shot in the arm. Too bad St. Louis City missed out on this. It would have been a great plum for the city.

I think there are a few reasons it is going to be located at Northwest Plaza.

1. Convient to most of the metro area, including the more upscale areas such as Ladue, and Chesterfield which are only about 15-20 min away. It is also a short drive for St. Charles.

2. The land is cheap at Northwest Plaza and St. Ann will welcome them with open arms. Cities such as Chesterfield have strict building codes, and would not let Ikea built their typical blue and yellow box in C-Field or Ladue, and Ikea does not want to spend the money to make the building look nice, its why they are able to sell stuff for cheap. Plus, the land is more expensive in Chesterfield, Ladue, and in St. Charles.

3. It is close to the airport, which Ikea loves.

Everyone knows that I love the idea of Ikea at Northwest Plaza.

The same article mentioned a lifestyle center replacing some of Northwest Plaza...good! The mall is dead and has been deemed as dangerous and a sore to the community for too long. It's new use may encourage more redevelopment of the Plaza as more of an urban neighborhood. This development may prevent St. Ann from declining any more, stop white flight, and raise land values.

Again I say to Metro, expand the Metrolink to Northwest Plaza!

southslider wrote:
This area of struggling inner-burbs certainly could use an upsurge in activity over the floodplain.

Funny....I never would have characterized the area I grew up in would now be referenced as the "inner-burbs".

My how times (and places) change.

In todays print edition of The St. Louis Business Journal, the main story was about St. Louis malls. This was said about IKEA and Northwest Plaza:

"One thing that could provide a major boost would be the addition of a destination tenant such as IKEA, which has been reported to be interested in opening at Northwest Plaza. However, that seems to be more local gossip than gospel. "We're not actively seeking locations in St. Louis" Said Joseph Roth, head of U.S. expansion for IKEA. We're still early on in evaluations, as we are with many other metropolitian areas."

The article also mentions that there is not budgeting for capital impovments at Northwest Plaza in the next 3 years!

If IKEA does goto Northwest Plaza it would help that place a lot, but then again that mall needs a face lift...but I don't think Westfield really cares about that property to justify spending money to renovate it and that Wehrenberg Cinema needs to be torn down and rebuilt with 14 or more screens plus stadium seating. Plus maybe include a Borders or Barnes and Noble, which I notice isn't in that area including Bridgeton.

Book stores:

Borders on Olive at CityPlace

Books-A-Million at St. Louis Mills

two smaller book stores at Northwest that may have closed up shop

Movie theaters:

Creve Coeur 12 on Olive near Lindbergh

Regal 18 at St. Louis Mills

None of these east along St. Charles Rock Road

New stores may steady Northwest Plaza

About a dozen businesses have left the Westfield mall in the past six months.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

December 9, 2005

Author: Norm Parish


Estimated printed pages: 2

The food court in Northwest Plaza had its usual stream of customers grabbing a bite to eat. And a neighboring hip-hop clothing store had its share of customers as well.

In fact, Matt Hornsey said his Exquisite Fashions and Footwear, which opened at the mall this week, has done so well that it almost has made more money here in two days than it did in a month at its former site in South County Center.

"We have been nothing but happy with our move," said store manager Hornsey on Wednesday night.

But not all businesses are having the same success at the mall. In fact, in the past six months, about a dozen businesses have left, acknowledged Katy Dickey, a spokeswoman for the Westfield Group, which owns the mall.

In September, Wehrenberg Inc. closed its nine-screen movie house. On Wednesday night, even Santa Claus had few visitors. At one point, Santa ended up talking to one of his helpers for nearly 30 minutes before a youngster paid a visit. And Lane Bryant, the women's clothing store, plans to close within 90 days because of lackluster sales, said Karen Lahay, an assistant manager at the store.

"We are looking for ways to revitalize (the mall) and improve it, including its productivity," Dickey acknowledged.

She said the mall has remained stable because some new businesses have moved to Northwest, like Exquisite Fashions and Footwear. She said the mall was about 70 percent full last year and currently has a similar occupancy. There are about 170 stores, which include anchors such as Sears, Famous-Barr and Dillard's.

Competition from other malls and a sluggish economy have contributed to some businesses not being as successful as they would like at Northwest, which opened in 1965, some store managers said. Westfield has owned the mall since 1997.

The newest tenants are Rags, an urban apparel store; Catherine's Plus Sizes, a women's clothing store; as well as several eateries: Funnel Fryer, Pizza Hut-KFC Express and Subway.

In August, Senior Towne, a fitness room and activity center for seniors, opened its doors. And in the spring, U.S. Factory Outlets and Hibbett Sports moved into the mall, Dickey said.

Other businesses are scheduled to open next year: Arena Basketball League, a site for basketball shooting; an ice cream shop called Ice Cream Dreams; and Athlete's Foot shoe store.

St. Ann officials said they are still hoping IKEA, the furniture and design superstore, will head their way.

"We would welcome IKEA with open arms," said Mayor Carrie Cafazza. "But we have heard that they won't make a decision until spring of 2006."

Hornsey, who helps run Exquisite, said his store will be a big hit.

He said the store, at 5,600 square feet, is five times larger than the former one in South County. He said Exquisite has three other similar stores in the St. Louis area.

"I think (Northwest) may have nearly hit rock bottom two years ago, but I think it is now going up and up," Hornsey said.

Cafazza agrees.

"I think the mall has made great strides, and people are trying to make it a great place to shop," Cafazza said.