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Make way for Aldi – developer buys Loudon Road properties for grocery store

  • The Dundee Investments LLC site plan application is shown. Courtesy

  • The property at 287 Loudon Road is seen on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz—Monitor staff

  • The property at 285 Loudon Road is seen on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz—Monitor staff

  • Two properties next to the Carrier Place plaza on Loudon Road are seen Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018. The properties were purchased by the developer behind the incoming Aldi grocery store. Elizabeth Frantz / Monitor staff

  • The property at 42 Old Loudon Road is seen on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz—Monitor staff

  • The property at 36 Old Loudon Road is seen on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz—Monitor staff

  • The property at 30 Old Loudon Road is seen on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz—Monitor staff



Monitor staff
Wednesday, February 28, 2018

A Concord developer paid more than twice the assessed value of six properties off Loudon Road to make way for an incoming Aldi grocery store.

Dundee Investments LLC, whose partners include Michael and Rick D’Amante, purchased 30, 34, 36 and 42 Old Loudon Road and 285-287 Loudon Road in January, according to the city’s assessing websites.

Together, the acquisitions cost the company about $3.5 million.

That’s almost $2 million more than the six properties’ assessed value, according to city data. One of the most expensive properties, 34 Old Loudon Road is a 0.6-acre vacant lot that sold for $884,600 – about 10 times more than the appraised value of $85,400.

Another property, 42 Old Loudon Road – a 1.6-acre lot with a 1,200-square-foot ranch built in 1973 – also sold for $884,600, more than double its city-appraised value of $408,500.

The other four properties were purchased at almost double their worth, according to assessing data. Each one included either single-story ranch or conventional houses. The oldest was built in 1945, the newest in 1973. The buildings will be razed to make way for 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, according to city records.

The property acquisitions are a critical step to move the project forward. Dundee has been trying to get a fast-food restaurant in that area for some time. The Dairy Queen now located down the street was an initial prospect, but ultimately pulled out.

The homes are located across from the Steeplegate Mall and next to another D’Amante project at 265-273 Loudon Road. That development, which sprang up just a few years ago and includes Aspen Dental, Elements Massage and others, as well as a standalone Chipotle, is worth a collective $4.86 million, according to city assessing data.

Combined, those two properties are worth almost as much as the ailing mall, which was sold in 2016 to the tune of $10.3 million. The mall, which has long struggled to remain profitable, was recently dealt a serious blow when one of its anchor stores, Bon-Ton, announced last month it would be closing.

Last year, Dundee brought forward the proposal for the new development, which the city’s planning board approved in September.

Aldi touts itself as a simple, unconventional shopping experience that uses minimal unpacking of products on the shelves and a 25-cent deposit for carts to cut the time staff has to wrangle them in the parking lot.

The chain also prioritizes its own store brands, a strategy the company’s website says allows it to keep prices low.

The plaza, as planned, will have 164 parking spaces, including seven handicapped spaces and 31 compact spaces. Construction was projected to begin in the spring, Michael D’Amante has previously said.

And although bulldozers haven’t arrived on site yet, there are other signs that construction is imminent: The former property owners have been out for at least a week, and contractors could be seen stripping one of the homes of materials.

D’Amante could not be reached for comment.

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