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The site where Aldi supermarket is planned to go in, across from Tim Hortons at the site what formerly was a tourist information center. (Photo by Karen Carr Keefe)
The site where Aldi supermarket is planned to go in, across from Tim Hortons at the site what formerly was a tourist information center. (Photo by Karen Carr Keefe)

Aldi plans progressing well, Marston says

Sat, Apr 20th 2024 07:00 am

By Karen Carr Keefe

Senior Contributing Writer

Plans are proceeding well in getting an Aldi supermarket on the south end of Grand Island, Supervisor Peter Marston recently said in an interview with the Island Dispatch.

“It’s still moving,” he said. “We sat with the Planning Board last night and they do have some concerns that we need to mitigate our way through. But in general, it’s very doable, relatively viable. Our big concerns were really just more aesthetics and not engineering.”

“It’s an interesting spot because it’s on a corner,” he said of Aldi’s site plan for the property that formerly housed a tourist information service, across from Tim Hortons.

“It’s a big property,” Marston said. The building, itself, measures at about 19,000 square feet, according to plans on file with the town. “It’s a pretty nice-looking deal,” he said while looking at the plans Aldi’s submitted.

“Two sides of the building are finished very well. The other two sides of the building are a little less attractive, but we’ve got to remember they’ll probably be visible from Stony Point and visible from Staley (roads), so we’re trying to make sure that it aesthetically is appropriate,” Marston said.

He said the Planning Board has suggested some changes, so there probably will be some alterations to the plan that the company has submitted to the town.

“Believe it or not, we’re really looking at the planting schedule on it because we want to make sure that it looks nice,” Marston said. “And the statement was said multiple times (at the Planning Board meeting), ‘This is the gateway to our Island, and we want to make sure it’s a nice-looking building.’ We don’t want it to be OK; we want it to be grand. We want people to pull up and go, ‘Wow, that’s a really nice building.’ I guess, without breaking the bank, we’re looking for a little bit of awe. We want it to be a really nice opening segue to us.”

“We had some discussions on how to do non-vehicular traffic, as far as connecting in to the existing bike path there, so you can ride your bike to Aldi’s, if you will … just to make it work beyond vehicles,” he said.

“We really want them to be successful. We want them to stay. We want them to be a nice-looking building. We want (them) to be part of us.”

“We’re moving at a pretty good clip with it because we’re trying to get them through some deadlines,” he said.

Grand Island Supervisor Peter Marston and Highway Superintendent Dick Crawford review plans for Aldi supermarket as part of the process for a new store across from Tim Hortons. The site is at the rotary that ties in Staley and Stony Point roads, Grand Island Boulevard and the entrance and exit to the I-190. (Photo by Karen Carr Keefe)


Marston couldn’t give a timetable for Aldi’s arrival because he said the time frame was not up to him. “I’m hopeful that, in the next month or two, it’s beyond us – hopefully even sooner,” Marston said.

 “Taco Bell got approved a year-and-a-half ago and it’s just now being started. It’s going between the car wash they’re rebuilding and Eggsquisite Eats down there (at 1752 Grand Island Blvd.).

“We’re just really trying to work on the project and make sure it’s nice and make sure everything is good. We’re concerned about how the traffic works and everything. It’s a busy area. We don’t want to learn about problems after it’s done.

Marston said that having a rotary traffic pattern near the planned Aldi’s site is “challenging.”

“There’s not a lot of truck traffic or anything like that involved with this, but there’s going to be a lot of people that, maybe, don’t drive that every day, so we want to make sure it works.”

He and Highway Superintendent Dick Crawford said Aldi’s only brings in one to two trucks a day, early in the morning. The store also is not open 24/7. It closes at night.

Crawford said, “There’s always ways to make traffic move and make it workable.”

Marston also pointed out the town doesn’t want to discourage pedestrian use, so there’s discussion about crosswalks and how that fits into the set up at the store’s parking lot

On March 22, Marston announced the town had received plans and an official application for Aldi’s.

He said town officials held an informational meeting with the Aldi team, as well as advisory board chairs and department heads, on Dec. 19, where a proposed conceptual plan was revealed.

“The Aldi team took input they gained from internal town departments, as well as advisory boards, and reworked their plan, which we now have in hand for review,” Marston said last month in a message posted on the official town website, grand-island.ny.us.

A schematic showing the planned site for Aldi supermarket on Grand Island.

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