Thursday is opening day for a new Aldi in Ramsey and it's part of a mini building boom taking place in the northwest metro community.

The low-cost grocer will hand out gift bags and gift cards to the first 100 shoppers as part of grand opening festivities starting at 8 a.m. Doors at the store in the Northstar Marketplace off Hwy. 10 and Armstrong Boulevard will open at 9 a.m.

"We're excited to open our first Aldi store in Ramsey and introduce local customers to a new, more affordable way of shopping," said Matt Lilla, Aldi's Faribault divisional vice president.

Aldi's arrival in Ramsey comes as several other new businesses nearby have opened or soon will. Those include Chanticlear Pizza and Grill, which opened at 7876 Sunwood Drive NW. last weekend, and a new Hilton Home2 Suites hotel with 98 rooms that's under construction across the street.

The 26,000-square-foot grocery is just one of several projects underway in the central part of the city, said Ramsey's Economic Development Manager Sean Sullivan.

Ramsey has closed on a deal to sell property to Centra Homes, which is planning to build 108 detached townhomes not far from Aldi. Also coming is an "amenity rich" apartment complex near Ramsey City Hall. The three-story Skyline apartment complex will feature 133 units and have an indoor pool, a fitness center, roof top patio and golf and shooting simulators. Retail will also be part of the development, which was approved by the city Tuesday night.

Another 223-unit apartment complex by Norhart Architecture has site approval and construction is set for 2025.

A gymnastics center called Jam Hops on Ramsey Boulevard is planning a grand opening in September. A new oil change business within eyesight of Aldi is likely to open this summer. And Water Control Corporation is finishing up on its 46,000-square-foot expansion of a building that will serve as its U.S. headquarters. A new building with one tenant recently opened in the Bunker Lake Business Park.

"It's bringing a lot of energy and synergy into Ramsey," Sullivan said. And it is coming as a major road project to expand Hwy. 10 is underway.

Between 15 and 20 employees will work at the 20,600-square-foot Aldi store, which will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, Lilla said.

Aldi got its start when the Albrecht family opened its first discount grocery store in Germany in 1961. The first U.S. location was opened in Iowa in 1976. Since then, Aldi has expanded to 2,000 stores in 36 states, according to the company's online profile.

With the addition of Ramsey, Aldi will have 78 stores in Minnesota, a number that will grow to 79 later this year with a new store in Oakdale, Lilla said.