Ingka buys and will preserve a Georgia forest as part of its move into the U.S.

Al Urbanski
Real Estate Editor & Manager
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Georgia's Altamaha River

Ingka Centres’ plan to move small-format Ikea stores into downtown shopping centers in major United States metros has just advanced further with Ingka Corporation’s purchase of 10,840 acres of Georgia forest land.

The Swedish-based Ingka Corp., which owns Ikea and Ingka Centres, plans to maintain and preserve the forest located near the Altamaha River Basin, not far from the Atlantic Ocean.

“We see that a large part of our responsibility towards the land we own -- and by extension the planet -- is to restore forests and plant more than we harvest," Krister Mattsson, managing director of Ingka Investments, told CNN.

In 2018, Ingka Centres, which operates 46 malls and centers in Europe and Asia, introduced an $8.6 billion plan to upgrade its portfolio, invest in new digital initiatives, and build urban centers. The first is set to open this spring in the Hammersmith section of West London; 945 Market Street in San Francisco will be the next. New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta are likely destinations for Ingka’s American portfolio.

Ingka Centres’ managing director Gerald Groener told Chain Store Age last year that the company would not enter the U.S. before proving its long-term commitment to contribute to the communities in which it will operate.

“We will serve the community, as well as generate income and drive people to Ikea. It could be different at every one of these meeting places we create,” Groener said.