The Buzz: Aldi eyes Richmond Street in Appleton – Appleton Post Crescent

Maureen Wallenfang

Appleton Post-Crescent

Published 9:22 AM EDT Oct 8, 2019

Reader question: My neighbor said, “Why weren’t you at the Aldi meeting?” I didn’t know about this. What do you know about it?

Answer: Developer Garritt Bader of GB Real Estate Investments wants to bring an Aldi to Richmond Street just south of the roundabout at Northland Avenue in Appleton. 

He wants to tear down the vacant former Merlin Muffler shop. Aldi would then build a new store on the Merlin site plus land on its south side. 

The development would not affect surrounding businesses like Fazoli’s, Starbucks, Play it Again Sports, Arby’s and Weekend Dental Assistant School.

Bader called the neighborhood meeting three weeks ago in St. Pius X’s church hall. About 30 to 35 neighbors showed up. 

“We held the meeting to give the neighborhood the heads up,” Bader said. 

“We wanted to let the neighbors know because we take their feedback seriously,” said Tom Howald, director of real estate for Aldi’s Oak Creek Division. He also spoke at the meeting.

“The biggest comment we heard was about fencing,” Howald said. “Some wanted it open and to have a path, and some of the neighbors were not in favor and wanted it to be completely closed off. We would be more than happy to screen the area from the residential area.”

One neighbor asked why Aldi isn’t just taking the old Piggly Wiggly on Northland and converting it. Howald told her the company investigates all potential sites.

“We’ve done our market research and this is the area we want to pursue,” Howald said. 

Aldi store’s design and layout would be nearly identical to the Aldi built in 2018, shown above, on Kensington Drive on Appleton’s east side.

Both Bader and Howald said the process is in its earliest stages.

“It’s very preliminary and there are so many things that have to happen for it to be a feasible deal,” Howald said. “Garritt’s goal is to go through the municipal review process through spring of 2020. We are actively pursuing this as a 2020 construction start, but it’s too early to know if the stars will align.”

Bader said applying for permits, zoning and city approvals will take several months. 

“We will submit formal plans to the city late this year,” he said. 

Have a business question? Contact reporter Maureen Wallenfang at 920-993-7116 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @wallenfang.

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