On Thursday Aldi, the Germany-based discount supermarket, opened its 5th new location in the Twin Cities this year. The new location is at 2913 26th Av. S. in Minneapolis.
The new 23,000 square feet store, larger than most of Aldi's new-format stores, replaces a portion of the Rainbow Foods space that closed in 2014.The new brightly-lit store with generously-sized aisles and more space for refrigerated goods makes the Minneapolis store just a few blocks away at 2100 E. Lake St. look even dowdier.
Aldi is in the middle of a $3.4 billion investment in expanding and refreshing its U.S. stores, but the store at 2100 E. Lake St could not be expanded due to limitations in its mixed use footprint. Aldi division vice-president Matt Lilla said in an email, "We have no plans to close the location on E. Lake St. in the near future." A store employee said the older location is likely to remain open for at least a couple of years.
Carlos Parada of Minneapolis said he's done shopping at the older Lake St. store after seeing the new one. "It's closer to my house, it's bigger and it has a bigger selection," he said while shopping at the new store on Thursday.
Wellington Management Inc. of St. Paul owns and is developing the six acre site. Next to Aldi is an additional 11,000 square feet of retail space as yet unleased as well as the Universal Academy Charter School that opened this fall. By 2020, Wellington plans to start construction on an affordable senior housing project with 110 units and 15,000 square feet of retail. The project will be built on the north third of the Aldi center's parking lot, according to David Wellington, director of acquisitions and development for Wellington.
With any purchase for a limited time, Aldi is handing out a set of $5 coupons for future purchases of $30 or more at the new store.