IKEA adds another mini-city to its empire

Want IKEA as your landlord? Move to one of IKEA's car-free sustainable rental communities.

A computer animation of London's Strand East, a stone's throw from the Olympic Stadium.

Construction on an "IKEA town", a vehicle-free all-rental private neighborhood run by Ikea, is set to start next year.

The development branch of Ikea, LandProp, is now expanding IKEA's take on Disney's Celebration, USA.

Next up? Hamburg, Germany.

The plans for Hamburg will most likely resemble the Strand East development in London, according to the Hamburger Abendblatt.

Strand East will boast 1,200 rental homes, 40 percent designed for families. Cars will park in an underground garage, and buses, emergency vehicles, and delivery trucks will be the only motorized wheels on the neighbourhood's streets.

But some are sceptical the development in Germany will ever break ground.

"German urban development is very clearly regulated," Schulten, a real estate executive told the German newspaper Der Speigal.

According to Schulten, IKEA has no chance of achieving real-estate dominance in Germany "because other investors have already been waiting in the wings for a long time." When large areas do become available, other investors have been lining up for them far before IKEA started building towns.

Ongoing construction of East Strand.

"IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad, 86, is now considered the richest men in Europe," according to Der Speigal.

"We do know that both planned developments will be built in currently empty lots," writes Ariel Schwartz for Co.Exist. "Ikea won’t be bulldozing neighborhoods to create its home empire; it’s looking for 12 acres to build on in the German city."

Read more about IKEA's urban development projects here .

[via: Co.Exist]

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com