DILWORTH-It's just an empty field right now, but Mayor Chad Olson said a new grocery store opening here later this year will mark a "monumental expansion" of a main commercial corridor in the city.
City leaders and representatives of low-price grocery store chain ALDI gathered Tuesday, May 23, for a ceremonial groundbreaking to kick off construction on a 19,054-square-foot store, the chain's first in the community.
"It's significant for the city of Dilworth in that respect," Olson said about opening on this commercial corridor. "I think also it's significant for our Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo community as well."
City Planner Stan Thurlow said leaders expect to see more development near 34th Street North with the addition of this hotly anticipated store, which was first announced last November. The store will open later this year at 833 34th St. N., which is north of the Wal-Mart store and Eighth Avenue Northwest and just east of 34th Street.
"Now that ALDI's coming here on this side of Eighth Avenue, it's going to be one of the dominoes to get that going," Thurlow said.
City Administrator Peyton Mastera said he's been a fan of the chain since 2003 while he was studying abroad in Sunderland, England. ALDI had a store a couple blocks from his apartment, and he said he went frequently to shop.
"I just thought it would be such a neat concept to bring here," he said.
Derek Bristlin, construction manager for the chain, said the German company opened its first store in America in 1976. It currently has more than 1,600 stores in the U.S., and he said it's on track to have more than 2,000 by the end of 2018.
After the groundbreaking ceremony, Bristlin told The Forum that ALDI stores typically employ 15 to 20 workers. The Dilworth store is scheduled to open in November before Thanksgiving, but a grand opening date hasn't been set yet.
It will be the 79th store in this regional division of ALDI that includes Minnesota, northern Iowa, western Wisconsin and eastern South Dakota, he said. The chain doesn't have any stores in North Dakota yet.
"Fargo is a potential market," he said. "I know there's been talks and dealings, nothing set in stone yet. But it is definitely on the radar."