After months of waiting, delays and shifting timelines, San Francisco finally has an answer.
The new Ikea store at 945 Market St. in Downtown San Francisco will open on Aug. 23, the Swedish company announced Tuesday.
“We are so excited to open the doors of our new Ikea store to our neighbors in the San Francisco area,” said Arda Akalin, Ikea San Francisco market manager, in a statement. “We appreciate the excitement and support from the community and can’t wait for our customers to experience the new store full of affordable home furnishings and solutions that reflect who San Franciscans are and how they live.”
Customers can enter the store starting at 11 a.m. on opening day, following a ribbon-cutting ceremony with city officials. Ikea says the grand opening will include "games, workshops and giveaways."
Ikea representatives say the three-level store is tailored for city living: It features 27 fully furnished room settings that showcase "city living" solutions.
The 250,000-square-foot building complex was going to be named the Livat mall, but that name has since been scrapped, and the mall will now be renamed, Ikea parent company Ingka Centres told the San Francisco Business Times. It was formerly known as the 6x6 mall.
Ikea bought the space at 945 Market St. nearly three years ago. San Franciscans first expected the store to open in fall 2021, but construction only started in 2022. Ikea delayed its opening several times since then. In the year leading up to its opening, Ikea developers faced permitting hiccups, supply-chain delays and concerns about local security, emails obtained by The Standard through public records requests show.
Downtown stakeholders are hopeful that the new mall, with Ikea as its focal point, will help liven up San Francisco’s struggling Mid-Market neighborhood. Ingka Centres is branding the mall as a "meeting place," which seems to be the Swedish version of a "third place," or a place outside of home and work where people gather.
“We are thrilled to welcome IKEA at our future meeting place with its first city store in San Francisco," said Miia Kautovaara, Ingka Centres "meeting place" manager in SF. "Together with IKEA, we will play our part and contribute to revitalizing Market Street and the neighborhood by creating an appealing meeting place for the local communities."
Ingka Centres has announced additional efforts to transform the complex into more than just a furniture store. The company teased plans to install a hanging fruit and vegetable garden, complete with an underground farm, to promote the “growing and sharing of food” in the concrete-heavy Mid-Market neighborhood.
Other initiatives at the Livat include a coworking space—called Hej! Workshop—on the building's top floor and a mall called the San Francisco Meeting Place. The Hej! Workshop will be the company's first U.S.-based coworking space.
This is a developing story.
Liz Lindqwister can be reached at email@example.com