Katelyn Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday’s “St. Louis on the Air,” host Don Marsh discussed the year in business happenings in the area — from Cortex to coal to NGA — with the reporters who know the subject best.

Aine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

Tomorrow’s long-awaited opening of Ikea has some “St. Louis on the Air” Twitter followers already prepping for a lengthened commute. 

Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

Ikea's newest blue and yellow box store that opens Wednesday on Vandeventer Avenue in St. Louis is the biggest sign yet of a building boom that’s transforming what was once a relatively sparse neighborhood into a bustling part of town.

A sign greets visitors to the main entrance of the Ikea store at Vandeventer Avenue and Forest Park Avenue opening 9 a.m. Sept. 30. The 380,000 square-foot store is the Swedish company's 41st U.S. location.
Nassim Benchaabane
Katelyn Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

The blue and yellow exterior is almost complete, and the store is on track to open this fall in Midtown St. Louis.

We’re talking about the IKEA, of course.

The Swedish furnishings company’s arrival in St. Louis has been long awaited and much anticipated. It will be the 41st store in the U.S., but the first in Missouri.

The new Ikea store is under construction on top of a parking structure. It will also include outdoor parking.
(Maria Altman, St. Louis Public Radio) / IKEA

The Ikea store in St. Louis is on track to open next fall.

Construction workers began putting up the steel frame for the 380,000 square foot store this week. The blue paneling will likely go up in December.

"That’s when the iconic blue and yellow will begin to show," said Joseph Roth, Ikea’s director of U.S. public affairs.

(Stephanie Zimmerman, St. Louis Public Radio.)

St. Louis is not exactly a farm town, but you don’t have to look hard to find ag-related commerce here. One big example is Elevator “D,” a grain terminal at 4040 Duncan Ave., neighboring the soon-to-be home of Ikea, the much anticipated Swedish furniture store.

So just what is this massive cement structure? The 88 bins housed within can hold 2.4 million bushels of grain. Built in 1953, it was bought in the mid-1980s by Ray-Carroll County Grain Growers Inc., a farmer’s co-op headquartered in Richmond, Mo.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

In many ways, breaking ground on St. Louis's first Ikea store is a lot easier than putting together the Swedish furniture maker's latest bookshelf. For Mayor Francis Slay, he just needed a shovel and speech. 

“Fortunately for a groundbreaking, you don’t need an Allen wrench or instructions,” Slay quipped. 

Jen Killion turned IKEA spice racks into book shelves for her daughter.
Provided by Jen Killion

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Driving the 15 or so miles to St. Louis' newly planned IKEA from her home in Kirkwood will be a breeze for Stephanie Kessler. The first time she shopped the iconic retailer in 2006, it required a 4,500-mile plane ride.

Kessler, 28, didn’t actually fly to Sweden just to experience IKEA but to visit friends. Still, after that trip she was hooked, and has since ventured to a variety of IKEAs around the country including the one in Schaumburg, Ill.

(via Flickr/WarmSleepy)

Updated 5:00 p.m. with additional details.

St. Louis' Ikea store will open in Fall 2015 and will be the Swedish retailer's 40th store in the United States.

Here's an artist's rendering of the store, which is slated for the corner of Forest Park and Vandeventer avenues in the Cortex development.