Furniture giant Ikea has firmly cemented its place in our homes – and now its real estate arm LandProp Services is on track to build a brand new neighbourhood in east London near the 2012 Olympic grounds, applying the "Ikea philosophy" to urban planning.
"We don’t want to produce for the rich or the super-rich; we want to produce for the families, for the people," Harald Müller, the head of LandProp, told the Globe and Mail.
“Our approach must be to get the right housing and office prices while delivering very good quality at the same time, he says. “We want to be smart enough in our design that we can offer the product for a reasonable price.”
The 27-acre development will house 6,000 in 1,200 dwellings in a neighbourhood to be known as Strand East. Nearly half will apparently be large enough for families and be priced to suit a range of incomes, with a school, hospital and office buildings around the edges. There'll be buses, walkways, waterways, and public areas – but not, the company says, an Ikea store. And while Ikea will be in control as landlord and manager – all of these properties will be rentals – it says the houses will not be furnished with Ikea items and the houses certainly won't require Allen keys to assemble.
According to Ikea, it will be looking for a long-term profit (over 20 years).