ALDI set to unveil Urbana store


By Katie Milligan

Contributing writer

A new ALDI grocery store in Urbana is set to open in the coming weeks.

The store, located at 741 Scioto Street, is at the site of a newly-redeveloped shopping center. Prior to demolition and reconstruction, the building (which measured approximately 65,593 square feet) housed Big Lots until 2014 and a Save-A-Lot that closed in 2018. At the time of purchase, this space was 89% vacant, and Goodwill was the last remaining tenant and vacated the building prior to demolition.

This project is the result of various community partners coming together to invest in and redevelop the Urbana community. Since the shopping center is located along one of Urbana’s central commercial corridors – and had been vacant and in a state of disrepair for several years – local entities were motivated to cooperatively assist ALDI in their revitalization efforts.

To give the project a boost, the City of Urbana requested that the Champaign County Commissioners Office apply for grant funding through the State of Ohio’s Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Program. Through this program, Urbana secured state dollars to fund asbestos abatement in the building before it was torn down by ALDI’s contractor.

Moreover, additional local groups – the Urbana City Council and the Urbana City School District Board of Education – came in alongside the county commissioners to approve an Enterprise Zone Agreement. This agreement approved a property tax exemption of an average of 35% of the increase in assessed valuation of the new construction at the project site over a six-year period, resulting from ALDI’s capital investment in the community and the creation of additional jobs.

In addition to the store space, ALDI has also created a new outlot along Finch Street (adjacent to the new store) that is available for purchase and development by other companies or investors, which opens the door for more additions to Urbana.

Urbana’s Community Development Manager, Doug Crabill, appreciates ALDI’s investment in the city and sees the project as one in a string of many that will continue to reinvigorate the area.

“Overall, ALDI’s investment in this redevelopment project and the opening of their new grocery store in Urbana builds upon the significant development and reinvestment that the city has experienced in recent years,” said Crabill. “Urbana’s development momentum is anticipated to continue as numerous projects remain in the development pipeline. The City of Urbana appreciates ALDI’s investment into the community and cordially welcomes the company and its new grocery store to the community.”

Crabill also noted that the addition of the grocery store will inevitably boost the local economy while providing a new convenience to Urbana residents.

“Many local ALDI customers from Urbana and Champaign County were already shopping ALDI stores in neighboring communities, which will allow for those dollars to remain local while providing another grocery and retail option for local residents,” Crabill said.

ALDI’s operating hours will be 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Sunday.

The store will hold a soft launch on Thursday, July 27, followed by a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony at 8:45 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 3. Shoppers are encouraged to attend the grand opening for a chance to win a $500 gift card. Additionally, the first 100 customers on Aug. 3 will receive a Golden Ticket that could be worth up to $100, as well as a free bag of ALDI goodies. Shoppers can also receive a free ALDI shopping tote while supplies last.

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