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Local

DeKalb Aldi store to open in new location in July

Store downsizes liquor department but will expand produce, specialty food items

DeKALB – The local Aldi grocery store is set to open in its new location in the Northland Plaza shopping center by the last week of July, City Manager Bill Nicklas said.

The city council approved a liquor license amendment with an 8-0 vote Monday for the grocer, which currently operates at 2569 Sycamore Road. The license will change from a medium to small designation, meaning the square footage of space allowed to sell liquor is shrinking. According to city documents, there will be no change in the management, operation or nature of the store.

“Grocery stores have three different types of liquor licenses,” Nicklas said. “They’re moving from a maximum of 2,000 square feet to 1,000 square feet [for selling liquor], and they’re content with that.”

That doesn’t mean the new location is smaller, though. In fact, the local Aldi will be 50% larger when it opens in Northland Plaza, 2500 Sycamore Road. The added square footage will allow for more expanded options, including a greater variety of produce, USDA-choice beef and organic foods, as well as dairy- and gluten-free products and bigger shopping aisles, Aldi representatives have said.

The new liquor license would cost the store $6,384, documents show, but because it is being issued within six months since the store received its current, medium liquor license, the city is offering the new license at a discounted rate of $1,755.

The old location will be shuttered once the business moves across the street. The move is part of a $1.9 billion remodel nationwide to expand more than 1,300 U.S. Aldi stores by the end of 2020, representatives have said.

Planet Fitness also moved into Northland Plaza, as part of a concentrated effort by Seattle-based Bridge33 Capital, which owns the shopping center and is a commercial real estate company that buys distressed properties around the country and revitalizes them.
Bridge33 Capital bought Northland at the end of 2017 after the center had endured a rough decade. With the changing face of retail – and an influx of online shopping dominated by unstoppable giants such as Amazon – the owners have said they want to evolve the plaza to include more experiential businesses, where people have to come in person.

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