Central Ohio's first Ikea finally has an opening date.

The highly anticipated Columbus location for the Swedish home-furnishing retailer will open at Interstate 71 North and Gemini Place on June 7.

Crews have been working throughout this year to finish construction on the 354,000-square-foot Ikea Columbus and its 1,200 parking spaces.

According to Ikea, the construction created about 500 jobs, and about 300 more will come new store staff. The location is hiring for jobs in sales, customer service, cashiers, goods flow, receiving, warehouse and stock replenishment.

The store will have a massive solar-panel array on the roof and will offer nearly 10,000 exclusively designed items, 50 inspirational room-settings, three model-home interiors, a supervised children's play area and a 450-seat restaurant.

"We are thrilled by the excellent construction progress made to date and believe we can complete the remaining milestones and interior buildup by early June," store manager David Garcia said in a release. "Besides furnishing our store, we also are focused on continuing recruitment and training of all the co-workers joining the Ikea family.

"We look forward to introducing central Ohio customers to a whole new way of shopping for the home."

-- Andrew King