IKEA looks to fall 2014 opening after picking contractor J.E. Dunn

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J.E. Dunn gets to build this retail attraction soon
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  • J.E. Dunn gets to build this retail attraction soon.

Swedish furniture- and meatball-maker IKEA picked J.E. Dunn - who else? - to build its store atop the Great Wall of Merriam.

The prolific Kansas City contractor gets to work with civil engineer Shafer Kline & Warren on the tricky task of building a massive store to replace a barely used strip mall perched on top of a massive retaining wall near Johnson Drive and Interstate 35.

IKEA's announcement Thursday put the store size at 359,000 square feet, somewhat larger than the 349,000-square-foot building envisioned when the company said last September that it would satiate local enthusiasts longing for the build-it-yourself furniture retailer.

IKEA is also calling on its construction partners to help evaluate placement of on-site power generation at the new store.

When it opens in the fall of 2014, the company expects to employ 300 workers after the estimated 500 construction-related jobs move on to another project.

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