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Concord set to get Aldi grocery store on Loudon Road

  • Concept images of an Aldi. The Concord Planning Board approved Dundee Investments LLC’s site plan application for 285-287 Loudon Road, which includes a 19,000-square-foot Aldi as well as a restaurant with a drive-thru and a retail store Wednesday night after a public hearing. —Courtesy

  • Concept images of an Aldi. The Concord Planning Board approved Dundee Investments LLC’s site plan application for 285-287 Loudon Road, which includes a 19,000-square-foot Aldi as well as a restaurant with a drive-thru and a retail store Wednesday night after a public hearing. —Courtesy

  • Dundee Investments LLC site plan application. —Courtesy



Monitor staff
Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A supermarket with a European flair will be coming to Loudon Road.

Dundee Investments LLC’s application for plaza that includes a 19,000-square-foot Aldi grocery store, as well as a 4,365-square-foot fast-food restaurant and a 6,250-square-foot retail store at 285-287 Loudon Road, was approved Wednesday night during a regular planning board meeting.

The project is two years in the making, according to Matthew Peterson of Hillside Design Group LLC. Previously, Dundee was courting Dairy Queen for the location in 2015, but Dairy Queen pulled out and establish a location further west on Loudon Road.

Mike D’Amante of Dundee said the choice to go with Aldi was market-based.

“Retail is changing quickly,” he said, “and Aldi was the only tenant of that size that was willing to anchor.”

D’Amante said he doesn’t have any firm tenants for the fast-food restaurant or retail space right now, but said Dundee is courting tenants. He said he expects more interest in the area once the Aldi opens.

Aldi was founded in 1961 in Germany by the Albrecht family, according to their company website, a family name also responsible for Trader Joe’s, Aldi’s earthier, pricier brother. The company is headquartered in Batavia, Ill., has 1,600 stores in 35 states and employs more than 25,000 people. By 2018, the company projects its total number of American stores will be close to 2,000.

The company says Aldi’s “no-frills grocery shopping experience” helps keep prices down, with unconventional strategies like minimal unpacking of products on the shelves and a quarter deposit for carts to cut time staff has to wrangle them in the parking lot.

D’Amante also touted the store’s simplicity, with no hunting through the aisle for a specific brand of ketchup, because the store only sells its own name-brand product. This allows the company to sell its wares “at a deep discount.”

Aldi has six other locations in New Hampshire, including Keene, Manchester, Derry, Nashua, Salem and Plaistow, according to the company website’s store locator.

Only one resident attended the public hearing for the project. Carl Sargent of Portsmouth Street, whose house abuts Old Loudon Road, said his neighborhood was concerned about any noise coming from deliveries and dumpster-emptying from the store in the early morning, a problem he said he has experienced with PetSmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Trucks, too, were a concern for Sargent, who said the loud vehicles coming in and parking overnight in the nearby plazas have been an issue.

“At times its felt like my bedroom was right in the middle of a truck stop,” he said.

Ultimately, the planning board accepted the application after D’Amante stated there would be a note on the plans limiting deliveries and dumpster-emptying to after 7 a.m.

The plaza will have 164 parking spaces, including seven handicapped spaces and 31 compact spaces, according to the application. The Aldi will be constructed first, according to Peterson, and will serve as an anchor to jump-start the location.

D’Amante said construction on the Aldi will probably begin “in earnest” this spring.

(Caitlin Andrews can be reached at 369-3309, candrews@cmonitor.com or on Twitter at @ActualCAndrews.)