IKEA Seeks New Land in Moscow

Swedish furniture giant IKEA is moving closer to encircling both Moscow and its market with the purchase of a 50-hectare plot in the city's northeast, and plans are in the works for the construction of a fourth Mega mall.

"The agreement is not yet finalized. So far, IKEA has acquired the leasing rights," IKEA spokesperson Oksana Belaichuk said. "The deal will be finalized in the near future, I hope," she said.

With malls in the southeast, southwest and northwest of Moscow, the northeast remains the only region where the store does not have a presence.

"The location is excellent because there is a lot of potential development in the northeast of Moscow," said Maxim Karbasnikoff, the head of retail projects at Jones Lang LaSalle.

The 50-hectare plot is near the village of Chelobitevo in the Moscow region.

Karbasnikoff said property in that area was selling for $1 million to $2 million per hectare.

Belaichuk gave no comment on the size of the deal, saying negotiations were still under way. Regarding speculation on the size of the site and that it would host a business center and hotels, Belaichuk said the project was still in a very early stage of development. Opening dates were unknown.

"IKEA is very successful in Russia," Karbasnikoff said. "It has the highest turnover in Europe if not the world."

"There is definitely enough space for more than three IKEAs in Moscow," said Belaichuk.