IKEA has expanded its brand from products to homes and now to a whole neighborhood, with plans to start construction on 11 hectares of land in London next year, which will feature 1,200 houses and apartments fully owned by the Swedish furniture company.
According to The Globe and Mail, 40% of homes in the all-rental private neighborhood known as Strand East, will be large enough for families, and they will be priced to appeal to a range of incomes. The area will also include a few condominium towers, offices for high-tech firms and a hotel. An underground parking garage will keep cars off the interior streets, which will feature bus lanes, pedestrian walkways, squares and public spaces. Project manager Andrew Cobden said:
We’d have a very good understanding of rubbish collection, of cleanliness, of landscape management. We would have a fairly firm line on undesirable activity, whatever that may be. But we also feel we can say, okay, because we’ve kept control of the management of the commercial facilities, we have a fairly strong hand in what is said in terms of the activities that are held on site.
This means things like farmers’ markets, antique shops and outdoor flower stalls in the neighborhood, with an events calendar to let people know about future activities, creating “a sense of place” for the residents.