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Welcome home to Ikeaville

Ikea has purchased 27-acres of land in East London and plans to start building a chic neighborhood there next year.

Ikea wants to be your landlord, said Doug Saunders in the Toronto Globe and Mail. The Swedish furniture giant has purchased a 27-acre expanse of “post-industrial wasteland” in East London and plans to start building a chic modern neighborhood there next year. The area, not far from where the 2012 Olympics will take place, will have 1,200 homes and apartments “priced to appeal to a range of incomes,” plus a hotel and office spaces. Many of the streets will be car-free pedestrian zones, and there are plans for a large underground parking lot. Ikea says there won’t be a Billy bookshelf or Swedish meatball in sight, but the company plans to retain ownership and rent out the homes. “We’re just securing our money long-term,” says Harald Müller, of the property-development division. “And of course creating more profits at the end.”

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