June 29th, 2005
|09:52 am - IKEA(r)|
It's coming. Really. This time they mean it.
It's going to be situated right off 24 in Stoughton (near the Jordon's Furniture in Avon - the one with the Motion Odyssey Movie ride, or MOM, as they call it). This is about 20 minutes from my mother's house. I am still pinching myself. No longer do I have to drive all the way to New Haven (and when they erected that one last year, I said "Woo hoo! This one's so much closer than Elizabeth, NJ!"). It's going to be a mob scene for the first, oh, six months or so. We've all been hungry for the IKEA for such a long time, people will be lined up like mad dogs waiting to pounce on a carriage or the infamous yellow plastic shopping bag. I mean, where else can you get a 12-piece set of silverware for 5 bucks? Or a sofa for under $200? We still use ours, which was purchased in 2001, and thanks to the snazzy magenta slipcover, it looks like new (they introduce new slip cover colors every season or so). I can't wait to saunter in and take in the smell of hot dogs and cinnamon rolls. Those unmistakable and irresistible aromas (just because I no longer eat mammals, it's hard to deny the power of this smell. That and BBQs. Actually, they make great turkey dogs these days. I can hardly tell the difference, as we threw a few on the grill during Sunday's game.)
I am not sure how up-to-speed you are on the controversy surrounding IKEA and Massachusetts. The original plan was to build it in Somerville, in the now defunct Assembly Square area. Once upon a time, when K-Mart was an anchor store worthy of the label, the Assembly Square Mall was a happenin' place. Now, it's about as rundown and sparse as a washed up mall could be. IKEA offered to save the day by planting the first New England store in this very place (before New Haven, just to give you an idea of the history here). Soon after the plans were announced, a special interest group, The Mystic River Ass-Clowns, argued that the potential IKEA traffic would be more than the area could tolerate, as would the pollution. They appeared at city hall meetings with their ridiculous rhetoric and petitions and pie charts. Naturally, this pissed me off more than you can imagine. I wrote several letters to then mayor, Dorothy Gay, who supported the IKEA. It would supply the community with a lot of jobs and it would help a seriously depressed area of the city get back on its feet. Not to mention the fact that it would provide affordable home decor to the masses. People not fortunate enough to drop a thousand bucks on a living room set at Crate and Barrel or any one of those fancy pants stores between Harvard and Central squares.
Let me say that my husband and I are staunch environmentalists. We recycle everything under the sun, We avoid pesticides. We don't buy any cleaning product that isn't biodegradable. So, I did the research on IKEA, just to make sure I wasn't swishing my pom-poms around for a company whose views contradicted mine. Well, wouldn't you know that IKEA is an environmentally responsible company (internationally speaking) and does extensive work to the land before they build for this very reason. So that just leaves the poo-poo-ers with the excessive traffic issue and let me tell you, traffic sucks on the lower deck, storrow drive and the pike. Always has. Can one specific thing be sited for gridlock? As Dean, from Dean's Home Furniture says, "I doubt it!"
So, in lieu of all the hoopla and parade peeing, IKEA didn't give up on us. Thank goodness. We're getting our store in the fall.
I live in Somerville. I initially had some sympathy for the Mystic View Task Force, before they turned into obstructionist jerks. Their initial position was "Make IKEA build a European layout IKEA." (5 story cube shaped store with a 5 story parking garage cube attached. They're neat.) IKEA said the numbers for those layouts don't work in North America and stuck to their North American standard 2 story giant box store with parking lot. Which is what they're building in Stoughton now. It will be identical to New Haven, and NJ, and Montreal with less French.
Mystic View Task force's counter request was "Office Towers. and a new T stop on the orange line." That's not negotiating, that's crazy.
|Date:||June 29th, 2005 04:41 pm (UTC)|| |
I lived in Somerville for years and right near Assembly Square in Winter Hill. I miss it a lot. I have dreams about my old apartment all the time. Anyway, I think I was so angered by the group at the time (because I had been willing an IKEA to Boston for so long and wondering why, since we had the perfect market, this was not happening), I couldn't get myself to think in a logical and neutral way. I thought of the new jobs and, of course, throw rugs and votive candles and ice-cube lights and 10 dollar end tables.
And seriously, what did this task force think of the huge new Shaws on the McGrath? Doesn't that have a parking lot?
The Q-bert IKEA would have kicked ass, though.
|Date:||June 29th, 2005 04:49 pm (UTC)|| |
Wait, you mean someone besides Bob from Bob's Discount Furniture says "I doubt It"?
Also, the thing I was pissed about when they were putting the Ikea in New Haven was that they wanted to put it where that awesome building (the top heavy one) was, that used to have art shows and stuff in it. I'm fuzzy on what exactly happened, the building's still there, only it now has 100 foot banner ads for Ikea covering it. And I don't know what happened with the people that had shows there.
But supposedly there's no traffic problem anymore around there at this point
|Date:||June 29th, 2005 05:09 pm (UTC)|| |
Dean says it with more "Boston" I think. Actually, I think Dean and Bob merged. Maybe this is why!
I didn't know about the artists' building in CT. Now I feel like I ate a tuna sandwich without the knowledge of dolphins getting trapped in the nets. Not that this happens anymore, but you see where I'm taking this crazy train.
|Date:||June 29th, 2005 05:18 pm (UTC)|| |
Dean and Bob
Deanwas the original 'I doubt it' guy, waaaay back in 1998 or so. At that time, Bob was actually based in NY. Then Bob muscled in and pushed Dean out stealing his tag line in the process. I was a big Dean fan, I have to admit... I still get mad whn I see Bob sully his image like that.
|Date:||April 19th, 2006 10:20 pm (UTC)|| |
Re: Dean and Bob
Just an FYI...Dean bought a BIIIIGGGG share of Bob's Discount! Do you think he's weeping in his cereal that his Dean's Home Furniture went under...I DOUBT IT!
I don't think they care about the new Shaws. That's the old Somerville lumber site and probably about 2 acres. Assembly Square is 145 acres of old industrial stuff and retail, which is pretty neat. It's the biggest chunk of decay within 10 miles of Boston. I think something really neat should be done with it, but I considered the IKEA offer for a 5 acre corner of it acceptably neat. MVTF didn't.
The cubes aren't Q-bert style. Think of a building 75' high, 75' deep, and 150' long. Or 25 meters x 25m x50m -ish.
|Date:||June 29th, 2005 06:47 pm (UTC)|| |
SDo you remember The Weekly Week? I was just reminded of a Q-bert article in one of the last issues. I posted about the Weekly Week once. Damn, I miss tht rag. Since you are a fan of the Onion, I'll bet you used to dig it, too.
The building you describe sounds sizable. That could hold a lot of Swedish-looking delights.
Yeah. When did The weekly Week fold? I don't remeber seeing any issues after 1999 or so.
The European layout IKEAs are huge, though the volume I described also contains the customers' cars.
|Date:||June 29th, 2005 09:05 pm (UTC)|| |
|Date:||June 29th, 2005 09:58 pm (UTC)|| |
Okay, I've always hated Bob. But now that I'm finding out about some alternate Bob I'm feeling like I need to defend our side. I don't see how Bob could have come from NY, as there are no stores there. I remember him from way back, too, I'd say before '98, in fact, and it seemed like it was local to CT at the time. The history of Bob doesn't show up on his site, and the dean's site shows basically a blank screen. Something's fishy in the world of discount furniture.
Also, now that Bob has gotten bigger, and is pretty prevelant on NESN with that hand-motioning, fake wife of his, I just wonder why you (WCSG) chose anyone else over Bob, when quoting the phrase "I doubt it." Did you think of both, but just choose Dean because of loyalty? I need answers.
First I find out Drinkwater is a different guy, and now this. Please put me out of my misery.
|Date:||June 29th, 2005 10:37 pm (UTC)|| |
Bob 'n' Dean
Jere, Bob is eminently hateable, becase he clearly thinks he's hot shit. With Dean, you could tell he liked the completely ridiculous kitschiness of his ads, and played it up massively. I was a big Dean fan, and as such have never forgiven Bob.
As for the from NY deal, I actualy don't know that for sure. Someone I knew who'd lived in upstate NY saw a Dean ad once and compared him - favorably - with this guy from "Bob's Home Furniture" in the upstate area, so when Bob popped up in Boston, I assumed it was the same guy.
|Date:||June 29th, 2005 11:23 pm (UTC)|| |
Evidently, there were 2 locations for Dean's Home Furniture. 1 in Lynn and 1 in Norwood. Both are now gone, I am assuming because the product fell apart shortly after purchase. As Andrew says, Dean was first, at least in these parts. He was a scrawny, short fellow who resembled the singer from Blue Oyster Cult. Bob looks more like one of the Jordan's Furniture guys (oddly enough) - the one with the pony tail. I didn't know about Bob until the merger commercials came out. Both Dean and Bob were featured - Dean claiming that "everything must go" and your heart just sank because you knew it was curtains for his 2-bit operation.
As local furniture retailers go, I think nothing can be as annoying as Bernie and Phyls. Their commercials leave you wanting to jump out the nearest window screaming. They all have some catchy little gimick and lately they've been recruiting old Celtics to star in them. Pitiful, really.
The fact that Bob uses "I doubt it" angers me, too. It's not easy to come up with a horrible, fingernails on the chalkboard type of catch phrase and Dean did it with apparent ease. Phonetically, it when something like this: I doot it! Sort of Canadian-like.
I am sorry, but it looks like the true enemy here is Bob. I hate to admit it. I wonder what Dean is up to these days. Perhaps selling muffin tops in a bakery "at discount prices." Hey, Dean, these muffin tops taste like cardboard. "I doubt it!"
|Date:||June 30th, 2005 12:50 am (UTC)|| |
Batten down the hatches, IKEA here we come!
ROAD TRIP!! just not as far this time.... :)
|Date:||June 30th, 2005 01:15 pm (UTC)|| |
Re: Batten down the hatches, IKEA here we come!
Yeah, we can jog. Or crawl. We'd still get there faster.