Proposal for College Road Aldi heads to city planners

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Plans for an Aldi Grocery on S. College Road in Wilmington have been submitted to the city. Courtesy of Cindee Wolf.
Plans for an Aldi Grocery on S. College Road in Wilmington have been submitted to the city. (Courtesy of Cindee Wolf)

The City of Wilmington’s Planning Commission will hear a rezoning request next week that could make way for a 19,000-square-foot Aldi, a discount grocery chain from Germany that is expanding in the U.S.

The store would be located at 3701 S. College Rd., on the east side of the main thoroughfare between New Horizons Elementary School and Waltmoor Road. The location is currently home to Trinity Presbyterian Church.

“The current use of the tract is a small church, with very little compliance to current regulations like standard driveway aprons, landscaping throughout the site or sidewalks,” said petitioner Cindee Wolf of Design Solutions in a supplemental narrative submitted with site plans that note the project’s compliance with the city’s Comprehensive Plan. “The proposed project would meet the strategy of sensible infill where urban services are available and more efficient use of under-used property.”

Wolf is requesting the 4.4-acre area (the 2.89 property for development plus right of ways) be rezoned from R-15 Residential to Community Business Conditional District. The tract of land, which forms one corner of the busy intersection of College Road and 17th Street, lies in an area of mixed zones ranging from R-15 Residential to Office and Industrial.

“Since this project is located on the east side of the major intersection, the neighborhood-scale retail use accommodates a more reasonable transition to the established neighborhoods back [behind] Waltmoor Road,” said the supplemental narrative provided by Wolf. “Through the conditional district rezoning process, the character of the area will be enhanced by the architectural controls, installation of new sidewalks, adherence to current aesthetics requirements for landscaping and signage, and stormwater management requirements, furthering the objectives of the Plan to develop vibrant mixed-use places.”

Aldi’s Wilmington proposal is not the first in the area. Plans have been submitted for a 19,000-square-foot store in Leland, but were delayed in February due to an issue with the state Department of Transportation.

Site plans for the Wilmington project include a one-story building set back from the roads with more than 80 parking spaces. The plans will be presented to the city’s planning commission on Wednesday, April 6. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in City Hall’s Council Chambers. To view an outline of the agenda, click here.