Michael Calhoun (mrcalhoun@cbs.com, Twitter.com/michaelcalhoun)By Michael Calhoun

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — It’s a question that’s been on the tips of St. Louisans’ tongues for as long as almost anyone can remember: Is an IKEA coming to town?

Urban legends over the years have had the IKEA rumored to go to St. Ann, Fenton, Richmond Heights and almost anywhere else.

A local leader, though, gives credence to the most recent report: that the Swedish furniture seller has its sights set on a strip of Forest Park Ave. near Vandeventer.

But Jeff Rainford, Mayor Francis Slay’s chief of staff, will only just allude to a big blue box.

“I’m in a little bit of an awkward situation because I do know what’s going on, but we’ve all been asked not to talk about it,” he said.

“We have some land acquisition issues that we have to deal with,” he added. “We are not at the point that this international retailer is spending any real money yet, but we will be getting there in the next few months,” Rainford told KMOX this week, specifying CORTEX, the Midtown research district, as the targeted site for the “international retailer.”

Last month, Pace Properties confirmed to KMOX News that it was representing IKEA in its St. Louis real estate search — which also confirmed that a search was actually taking place.

Best advice now — get ready for a flat-pack furniture binge in about two years, which is when Rainford said the ambiguous retailer would likely open.

KMOX © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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