ALDI coming to Riverstone Mill Shopping Center

CANTON — Owners of the Riverstone Mill Shopping Center in Canton announced Friday an ALDI grocery store is locating in 17,050 square feet of space in the local shopping center on Riverstone Parkway across from the Canton Mill Loft Apartments.

The Canton store will be the third location for the discount grocery giant in Cherokee County, with two already in operation in Woodstock.  ALDI is a global discount supermarket chain based in Germany and one of the largest discount supermarket chains in the world. There are more than 9,200 locations worldwide, with 1,200 of those in the U.S.   Robert Fransen, a partner in Coro Realty Advisors, which has purchased the shopping center, said Friday that the store could open in mid-2014.  “Right now they are in the permitting process and that should take until the middle of the first quarter,” Fransen said. 

Fransen said the location fit what ALDI is looking to accomplish with its expansion plans.  “The demographics are in their sweet spot and they are trying to expand into core suburban areas,” Fransen said.  “This is the prototypical size, they are typically smaller than a Kroger or Publix, but this location is in the corridor with other key retail.”  The new grocery store will be in the old Bodyplex Gym space next to the Dollar Tree store.

Fransen said in a release sent out to announce the new store that his company purchased the property in Canton as a turnaround opportunity.  “We are gratified that ALDI shared our vision for the property’s potential. Plus, having secured a second anchor tenant will enable us to focus on improving the rest of the property,” he said.  Jennifer Duvall, senior leasing agent at Coro, agreed.  “We are thrilled to welcome ALDI to Riverstone Mill. ALDI is a growing player in Atlanta’s grocery market. We expect it to be a great addition to the center, and to serve as a quality draw to both the property and the area,” she was quoted in the news release. 

The new tenant improves the property’s occupancy by 40 percent since the company purchased it last December, she said.  Coro Realty intends to begin upgrading the property’s exterior, including site improvements, tenant relocations and partial demolition of an outparcel to improve visibility in the late fourth quarter of 2013, company officials said.   “We are actively looking for quality tenants, and think the center with ALDI becomes a lot more attractive,” Fransen said.

Coro Realty Advisors LLC was founded in 1997 and is based in Atlanta.

~Courtesy of Rebecca Johnston, Cherokee Tribune, November 8, 2013