Ikea has successfully indoctrinated the Western world with its version of furniture and Swedish-inspired living, so don’t feign shock that the corporate giant now plans to open its own community outside of London.
It is a common practice in Sweden and other non-English speaking European countries for corporations build and own entire communities and everything in them, with the goal of making cash by renting out homes, apartments and offices. If people can make money doing that in Sweden, why not England, right?
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LandProp Services, a property-developing branch of the Ikea company, purchased roughly 27 acres of unused industrial land outside of London and is working through plans to turn it into Strand East, a mix of Ikea-chic and historic homes with townhomes, apartments and even offices and a hotel.
Set in East London, in the shadows of the newly constructed Olympic Park, Ikea hopes to create affordable living opportunities (in keeping with their furniture-making mission, of course) for residents in more than 1,000 homes and apartments. The rigidly designed and overseen community will include townhouses, apartments, two- and three-story homes, condominium towers up to 11 stories tall, offices and a hotel.
The community will gear toward families, and the prices will vary. To keep the community clean and crisp, expect plenty of public areas mixed with pedestrian walkways. And all those cars the plan will inevitably draw will get buried, as an underground parking garage will sit below the entire community.
Once complete, Ikea will retain all ownership and rent out the homes, apartments and condominiums in the fully private community. And since the same neat-centric and orderly landlord owns the entire community, the community will have a definite feel in how it is managed from garbage pickup to community events, according to a Globe and Mail report, similar to a quasi-local government.
While the community may be owned by Ikea and evoke the same emotions as navigating an Ikea showroom, there will be no Ikea stores located within the boundaries and you’ll have to fill your apartment with your own Ikea products. So, if you want (and only if you want), you can leave your Allen wrench at home.