Aldi Market is expected to break ground within the year for development at 125 Danbury Road in New Milford.

The town's land-use commissions have approved the development, with the Zoning Commission giving a final nod Tuesday.

Philip Farmer is developing the 4.8-acre parcel north of Lore's Plaza. The Aldi Market would be the first of three planned businesses to go into the site.

Aldi Market, the discount supermarket chain based in Illinois, has signed a contract to purchase 1.3 acres of the site to construct a store, Aldi spokesman Heather Tarczan confirmed. With land-use approval in place, the deal will go forward as soon an agreement is reached on site cost, Farmer said. Preliminary numbers are already in.

"I'm very excited and very appreciative of Zoning and Inland Wetlands for approving this development," Farmer said Wednesday. "The state traffic control still has to weigh in with final approval, but I see no problems."

Two other businesses are planned for the site: a restaurant and a possible condominium-style office complex. A hotel had been planned, but the operator pulled out, citing the economy, Farmer said.

Farmer will have to go back before the Zoning Commission for approval to construct the other two buildings.

Aldi Supermarkets, the U.S. operation of Germany's Aldi Group, offer over 1,400 of the most frequently purchased grocery and household items at savings of up to 50 percent of what traditional supermarkets charge and 15 percent over "big box" grocers, Tarczan said.

Some 95 percent of the items sold in the market are under the Aldi brand name. However, they are manufactured by some of the country's leading suppliers of foods, Tarczan said.

Shoppers bring their own bags, pay a quarter to release a shopping cart and get a quarter refund when they return the cart to the corral, they bag their own groceries. Items come in one size -- the size that surveys show is most commonly purchased in supermarkets.

"It may be the prices that get customers into our door, but it is our quality that brings them back," Tarczan said.

Aldi has 15 markets in Connecticut. Most recently, stores opened in Milford and Middletown. Aldi hopes to open the New Milford store by fall 2010. Since 2008, it has opened 100 new stores in the U.S., with 80 new stores planned to open in 2009.

Contact Susan Tuz


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