Developer to build Aldi food market in Groton Shopping Center
Editor's Note: This story corrects the name of the shopping center and adds an additional store proposed.
Groton — The owner of the Groton Shopping Center plans to build a 17,800-square-foot Aldi food market in the space between Dollar Tree and the Shear Value Hair Salon, according to plans filed with the town.
The supermarket, known for its discount groceries, would replace the 14,000 square feet of retail space that recently was demolished, planning documents show. Construction would also include a new 1,100-square-foot storefront.
The developer would install new sidewalks and curbs to match existing walkways, a 170-square-foot raised landscaping bed, a new sign for the plaza and a 5-foot crosswalk at the store entrance.
Cedar-Groton LLC of Port Washington, N.Y., owns the shopping center on Long Hill Road and is working with developer Cedar Realty Trust Inc.
A representative for the developer declined comment via email on Wednesday.
The development would put the store down the street from Big Y and within a few miles of Stop & Shop.
But shoppers at the plaza on Wednesday said they would welcome the grocery.
“They have more organic stuff for lower prices, and that seems to be important to people, so that would be good,” said Kerry Muntimuri of Ledyard.
"I love Aldi's," said Eric Kearns of Griswold. ”They’re slow catching on, but once people catch on, they get it. You can get in and out, save a lot of money. It’s very convenient. It will do great in this area.”
Aldi runs close to 1,500 stores in 32 states and is in the midst of an expansion plan, according to its website.
By the end of 2018, the company hopes to have 2,000 stores nationwide.
The Aldi stores closest to Groton are in Westerly, R.I., and Lisbon. An email to a company representative was not immediately returned.
In January, a market analysis suggested Groton turn its strip malls into walkable developments that combine retail and living space.
The report identified the strip malls on Route 1 as opportunities for investment.
Matthew T. Allen, a planner with the Town of Groton, said the shopping center owner has site plan approval and can seek building permits to start construction.
“It shows things are developing in a positive way,” Allen said. “I think it’s going to be an improvement at the site and also an improvement for the community. And hopefully a sign of things to come in that area.”