THE COLONY — Nebraska Furniture Mart 's reach extends far beyond furniture. The megastore is set to open in The Colony sometime this spring.
For the next few weeks, however, hundreds of shoppers contacted by e-mail and mailer will be among the first to browse the 560,000 square foot emporium. By way of comparison, Ikea's sprawling store in neighboring Frisco encompasses 310,000 square feet.
Nebraska Furniture Mart is all in, and it has some big name backers — including financier Warren Buffett — as seen in a promotional video for the surrounding development.
"We're going to have a store that really blows people's minds away," Buffett said.
The furniture store serves as the anchor behind a massive multi-use development spanning 400 acres. It will be the first development of its kind in The Colony.
"If you drive along the [Highway] 121 corridor, there is a tremendous amount of growth and development taking place," said the city's economic development director Keri Sanford. "For example, we have six new hotels that have either been announced or are under construction currently."
A billion dollar project dubbed Grandscape is about more than shopping. Renderings depict a vibrant mixed-use development featuring a convention center, restaurants, and an outdoor amphitheater.
"It's been traditionally a bedroom community, but now this transitions us to having a better and more broad base, with commercial development as well," Sanford said.
Store officials haven't announced an official opening date for the general public, but do say it could come in the next few weeks.
"It's humongous," said shopper Reva Nathanson, one of those who has had a sneak peek. "It's an amazing stadium of furniture. It's going to put The Colony, Texas on the map."
When complete, city officials predict the development could attract as many as eight million shoppers a year.