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Congested Beltway Threatens Opening of 1st IKEA Store in Bulgaria

Date: 30.11.2009

The expansion of the congested Sofia beltway is scheduled to happen at about the same time that an IKEA store is planned to be constructed there.
Swedish furniture company IKEA is going to open its first Bulgarian store in mid 2011.

This has been announced by Bulgarian Regional Development Minister, Rosen Plevneliev, on Wednesday after he met with representatives of the Greek firms Fourlis and Danaos Group in Athens, Greece, which are going invest in the opening of the IKEA store.

About EUR 300 M will be invested in the IKEA store in Sofia, which will be located on the beltway of the Bulgarian capital; 800 jobs will be created as a result.

Two more IKEA stores will be opened as well – one in Varna, and another one in the Plovdiv - Stara Zagora region in the south.

Minister Plevneliev said the big issue was how the IKEA store on the Sofia beltway was going to operate since it would attract a lot of traffic, and there are beltway construction works scheduled for that period of time. He explained his Ministry was most likely going to focus first on the construction of the part where the future IKEA store would be located.

Plevnelieve made it clear that the 2.7 km missing road from the Simeonovsko Shose to the Mladost 4 Quarter could not be built earlier than the end of 2011. In his words, he had been very sincere with the Greek investors.

Thus, the Bulgarian government and the Greek firms have reached an agreement for the building of a temporary road going around the congested sections of the beltway to be under construction.

Plevneliev stressed the government wanted to do everything possible in order to make sure that the construction of the first IKEA store in Bulgaria would start on time in March 2010.

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