08/23/2012 11:47 am ET

Ikea To Build City District In Hamburg, Germany

Gone are the days, it seems, when Ikea simply wanted to get its flat-pack furniture into your home. Now, Ikea wants to get you into one of its homes.

The Swedish furniture-maker has announced plans to build an entire city district in Hamburg, Germany, AFP reports. The company is currently searching for a five-acre plot of land to build on. (Hat tip: the Consumerist.)

Ikea has a history with Germany; the company established a strong manufacturing presence in the German Democratic Republic in the 1970s and allegedly used East German political prisoners to build furniture up until the 1980s, a Swedish news broadcaster has claimed.

The new Hamburg Ikea district will reportedly resemble already-released plans for a London Ikea neighborhood called Strand East. Plans for that Ikea mini-city include 1,200 apartments, an underground garage and a canal system, all intended to emphasize self-sustained city living.

Strand East will also feature an Ikea hotel, one of 100 “budget design” hotels intended to offer a “boutique feel at affordable prices" that Ikea is looking to open across Europe.

The Swedish company has made inroads into the hospitality business in the past, including opening an Ikea Hostel in Norway in 2007. Earlier this year, Ikea debuted its first pre-fabricated home, in Oregon.