Plans for an Aldi grocery store in New Hanover County, the third one proposed in the Cape Fear region in recent months, were presented before the county’s technical review committee on Wednesday afternoon.
Representatives for Bayshore Estates, the property owner, and Aldi, the German discount supermarket chain that’s been rapidly expanding across the United States, showed county officials their preliminary plans. The proposal includes an 18,900 square-foot building that will be located on the southeastern side of the 7900 block of Market Street between the entrances to the Bayshore and Marsh Oaks subdivisions.
According to New Hanover County’s Current Planning and Zoning Supervisor Ben Andrea, the meeting was a “courtesy review” since the developers have not yet formally submitted their plans to the county.
“The technical review committee generally deals more with residential properties, so this is a rare thing for us,” said Andrea, who sits on the committee. “We do these courtesy reviews because it’s a good opportunity for these commercial developments to have their plans looked at by all of us at the same time in the same room.”
The most discussion at Wednesday’s meeting, according to Andrea, centered on the development’s driveway onto Market Street and its compliance with North Carolina Department of Transportation regulations (the state agency maintains that road).
“We told them it has to be a right-turn-in-only driveway. There can’t even be a right turn out,” said Andrea, noting that a median on that portion of Market Street prevents them from doing anything else.
The parking lot, which will have 48 spaces, will have exits onto Marsh Oaks Drive and into the Amberleigh Shores apartment complex.
Andrea said nothing was approved and no final decisions were made.
“It’s just helpful for them to get comments and suggestions from us,” Andrea said. “It makes the rest of the process [to get their permits approved] much smoother.”
Since the property is located in an area already zoned B-2 for highway business and no rezoning or special use permit requests are involved, the project will not have to go before or be approved by the county’s planning board and county commissioners.
“It’s all administrative from here,” Andrea said.
County planners expect the developers to submit their application to begin building soon. The project is expected to be completed in 2017.