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New grocery store coming to town

July 18, 2006|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

HAGERSTOWN

A grocery store chain new to Washington County is moving into a vacant department store building on Dual Highway.

Aldi expects to open in part of the former Ames building at the end of August, Will Carpenter, the company's director of real estate, said Thursday.

Aldi describes itself as a discount grocery chain that tries to keep prices low by eliminating extra amenities, such as bagging clerks and check cashing. It charges a small fee for paper or plastic shopping bags and encourages customers to reuse bags, the company's Web site says.

The Web site says Aldi has more than 700 stores in 26 states, including Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, where it has a branch in Chambersburg.

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Carpenter said Aldi plans to build a distribution center next year in Frederick County, Md.

Aldi will use about 17,000 square feet of the 63,000-square-foot former Ames building, said Kevin Allen, the director of real estate for Kimco Realty, which owns the shopping center.

The Ames store closed almost four years ago.

Allen said Kimco at first tried to find one tenant to lease the whole building, but didn't have much success.

Kimco - which is based in New Hyde Park, N.Y. - instead decided to split the building into smaller shops. He said the remaining 46,000 square feet probably will become no more than three storefronts.

A Family Dollar Store recently opened at the shopping center.

Several months ago, Wonder Book & Video announced it would move from Massey Boulevard to the former CVS Pharmacy building near the vacant Ames store.

The move was expected to happen in the spring, but a woman who answered the phone at the store Thursday said it's looking more like mid-September.

Allen said a rental car shop will open in about four to six weeks.

He said Kimco is pleased to have leased close to 40,000 square feet in about six months.

"That's a pretty good push," he said.

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