IKEA is preparing to open a distribution center for its Internet sales at Napa Logistics Park in American Canyon, ending months of speculation about the tenant for the mammoth warehouse building.
Orchard Partners, developer of Napa Logistics Park, confirmed Monday night that IKEA is the company that signed a lease for the 646,000 square foot building located off Devlin Road.
The developer’s lead official, Ernie Knodel, declined to saying anything further when contacted by the American Canyon Eagle. “Confirmed but no comment,” Knodel wrote in an email on Monday.
Knodel had previously withheld identifying the tenant, saying he was waiting for the unnamed company to make the announcement.
Calls to IKEA public relations seeking comment have not been returned.
But on Oct. 26, Community Development Director Brent Cooper informed the American Canyon Planning Commission that IKEA had submitted plans to the city for modifying both the interior and parking lot of Napa Logistics Park’s first building, which has sat vacant since it was completed a year ago.
“IKEA is working on improvement plans to occupy the interior” of Building 1 at Napa Logistics Park, Cooper told the commissioners.
“They’re also going to make some changes outside to the parking lot because their needs are a little different than what was expected” when the building was constructed, he added.
Cooper said he expects the parking lot modifications to start soon. Plans for the interior changes are still being considered by Planning Commission staff.
“It’s gone through two reviews so we’re close to finishing all the details,” according to Cooper.
IKEA submitted an application for building modifications to the city on Aug. 8, according to a document Cooper shared with the commission.
Knodel told the Planning Commission on Sept. 12 that he was “happy to report we have leased the building, and we’re in the process of fitting it out for an e-commerce user” who intends to use all of the 646,000 square foot facility.
He did not say at the time who the tenant would be, adding, “It will be used as a customer distribution center” that will fulfill online orders and employ about 200 workers.
When asked to name the tenant, Knodel declined to do so after the Sept. 12 meeting and again following other queries made in September and October.
“Unfortunately, I’m not at liberty to say who the tenant is yet,” he told the American Canyon Eagle in an email on Sept. 21.
During the Oct. 3 meeting of the City Council, Knodel continued to be vague about the tenant.
He said the lease for Building 1 was “with an international manufacturer and retailer that is growing their e-commerce platform. This is the first of its kind as a stand-alone facility that will be providing fulfillment of its products directly to customers” in the Bay Area.
Rumors circulated over the summer that Orchard Partners was negotiating with IKEA to lease the building, according to longtime Napa County commercial real estate broker William Kampton.
Confirmation of IKEA coming to American Canyon follows an announcement the company made in October that it would begin selling furniture through third-party websites next year in an effort to reach customers in the digital age.
IKEA spokesperson Kaisa Lyckdal told The Associated Press Oct. 10 that they plan to start a trial in 2018, but that “no decisions are made regarding what platforms/markets will be in the pilot.”
Lyckdal said in an email to The Associated Press that IKEA would further develop its online sales strategy “over the coming years.”