Fast-growing German discount grocer Aldi Food Market is planning a new store in Lake Wales at the southwest corner of U.S. 27 and Thompson Nursery Road.
Aldi is seeking to modify the existing drainage permit with the Southwest Florida Water Management District for the corner parcel in the city's retail hub. The company will lease the site from the developer, Palmetto Capital Group.
The land is owned by Teresa Yoder and currently houses a small veterinary clinic. Lake Wales Planning Technician Autumn Cochella said the clinic would be demolished, as will the neighboring motel, to provide Aldi with a pad-ready site.
But before the city can consider Aldi's Site Development Plan (SDP) the developer must secure access agreements from Polk County for Thompson Nursery Road and from FDOT for U.S. 27.
"Their SDP is ready for review, but we can't move on it until they get the access issues worked out," Cochella told GrowthSpotter. Bartow-based Sloan Engineering Group is civil engineer on the project.
Aldi's corporate office announced an ambitious plan in June to add 900 new stores in the U.S. over the next five years, with a goal of making it the third largest grocer in the country.
The company currently operates 16 stores in Greater Orlando, including a new store in Eustis that opened in late 2016. The grocer has filed plans in Orange and Osceola counties for new stores on Curry Ford Road and on W192 in Kissimmee.
Aldi is also adding 200,000 square feet to its Haines City distribution center to accommodate the company's Central Florida expansion. That facility currently services 70 stores.
The new store would go head-to-head with Publix at the same intersection, but it's in a high-growth corridor on U.S. 27. A new dual auto dealership is planned just south of that location.
And more than 1,700 new homes are planned just down the street at the Preserve at Lake Ashton. That mixed-use community, which is in the Winter Haven city limits, will include a mix of residential uses, neighborhood commercial centers, an assisted living facility and an urban farm.