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Charlotte's first IKEA names store manager

IKEA has named company veteran Richard Castanon the manager of its new Charlotte store, which is set to open in the spring.

Castanon began his career with the Swedish home furnishings giant in 1991, managing the furniture showroom at its store in Burbank, Calif. In recent years, he's led teams responsible for outfitting and launching new IKEA stores in six cities across the country, most recently in Brooklyn, N.Y., earlier this year. A California native, he moved to Charlotte about six weeks ago and has been working with the store's upper management to recruit and train department managers and, eventually, other employees.

The 356,000-square-foot blue-and-yellow building, IKEA's first store in the Carolinas and 36th nationwide, is now under construction next to Interstate 85 in University City. When finished, it will employ 400 people and include 50 room settings, three complete model homes, a supervised children's play area and a 350-seat restaurant serving Swedish and American foods.