Aldi, a no-frills discount grocer, received unanimous approval from Bloomfield Township trustees at their meeting on Monday, June 11, for their final site plan at 1939-1969 Telegraph Road, within the Village at Bloomfield development.
Patti Voelker, township director of planning, building and ordinances, informed trustees that “we're well into the build-out and approvals for the Village at Bloomfield.” There are five acres that fall into Bloomfield Township, with the other 85-acres of the development in a 425 joint development agreement area.
The master plan for the Village at Bloomfield references a grocer, with Aldi fitting the profile. “20,000 square feet of the 22,000 square feet of Aldi's floor plan fall within Bloomfield Township,” Voelker said. She said the developer, REDICO, is collaborating on a mixed-use building in a strip center adjacent to Aldi.
“We're looking at approval for this building that is primarily in Bloomfield Township, with a portion in the joint development area in Pontiac,” said Mark Kellenberger with Aldi. He said Aldi has plans for a 22,565 square foot building “with an elevation that was specially-designed for this development.”
He said that Aldi plans to begin construction as soon as possible, with anticipation of opening in mid to late-November of this year.
“This will give us a prime location in Oakland County, to reach a new demographic in Oakland County,” Kellengerger said.
He said Aldi is not as well-known in Oakland County as their sister company, Trader Joe's.
Kellenberger said about 95 percent of Aldi's merchandise is private label, and they are expanding into fresh produce and meats, as well as organics, and they carry beer and wine. “Customers are not as foreign as they use to be with private labels,” he noted.
“We take a simple, cost-effective approach to grocery shopping that saves shoppers on their grocery bills. In fact, smart shoppers have found that switching from national brands to ALDI exclusive brands can save them up to 50 percent on their weekly must-haves. More than 40 million customers each month benefit from the ALDI streamlined approach, bringing shoppers the highest quality products at the lowest possible prices every day,” Aldi stated on their website. Ninety percent of their brands are Aldi exclusives, “manufactured by many of the nation’s leading food producers, and we work closely with suppliers to ensure that ALDI exclusive brands meet or exceed the quality of national name brands.”
In Bloomfield Township, Kellenberger said they will continue one of their unique features, rent-a-cart. “You rent it with a quarter, you shop, and then plug the cart back in and it kicks back the quarter,” he said. “It's a way to keep costs down, as well as not littering the parking lot with carts.”
“My wife and I shop at your Aldi's in Florida, and we love it,” said township attorney Bill Hampton.
“Are you leasing or building the building?” asked clerk Jan Roncelli.
“We're building the building but we have a lease with REDICO,” Kellenberger said.
Tim McCafferty from REDICO then gave trustees an update on the Village. “Menard's is coming up, these guys are coming up. Henry Ford Health System – they are putting in a world class ambulatory system. They're very excited about coming into the Bloomfield area. They'll be coming in as soon as we get plans ready – probably August, September, we'll begin in the field.
“Hampton Inn Suites, they're going through a corporate refresh of their look. They think they'll be done with their internal review in July, August, and they expect 13 to 14 months of construction. We're talking to Planet Fitness. Edward Rose & Company, they're doing the apartments (to the south). They're out for bids, for 140 to 150 units in their first phase. They'll probably be in the ground by August.”
McCafferty said a planned area for senior living in the northern most location has had some interest, “but it's probably our coolest piece.”
“You guys have done an outstanding job from day one. It's exciting to see it all come together,” said supervisor Leo Savoie.