By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Mar 08, 2018 at 8:10 AM

After a long wait and no shortage of anticipation among fans of the Swedish home furnishings brand, IKEA announced Thursday morning that its first Wisconsin store will open in Oak Creek at 9 a.m., Wednesday, May 16.

That's sooner than expected. Previously, IKEA said the story would open in summer.

The 293,000 square-foot store is the company’s 48th in the United States and is located at 7500 S. Ikea Way, which is better described as being just north of Drexel Avenue along the west side of I-94.

We visited in late January to peek at the store’s progress and you can read more about that and see a video here.

"We are thrilled by the construction progress to date, and believe we can complete the remaining milestones and interior build-up by May. Besides furnishing our store, we are also focused on recruiting and training all of our coworkers joining the IKEA family," noted Samantha Gravina, store manager. "We look forward to introducing customers here in Wisconsin to the IKEA experience and a whole new way of shopping."

The company added that the store created more than 500 temporary construction jobs and will employ about 300 workers on a permanent basis in the store. Positions are still being filled and if you’re interested, visit seeacareerwithus.com.

IKEA said that customers can begin lining up at 5 a.m. on on opening day. Information will be released soon about specific grand opening plans and promotions.

So, no more trips down to Schaumburg for your Billy bookcases and tasty meatballs (though I’ll miss the detours to Valli Produce).

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.