Branford Aldi supermarket set to open in June


BRANFORD — A new Aldi supermarket, its “coming soon” neon sign and banners along Route 1, is nearing the final phase of construction and is expected to open in June, according to a company spokesperson.

Construction is in its final stages, according to city building official Anthony Cinicola.

“To date, 16 inspections have been carried out for Aldi. They are ready to isolate and close the walls from there,” Cinicola said. Five inspections remain, including the last, he said.

Work on the site began last July for Aldi Grocery Store and a Chase Bank, across from the 53 exit ramp off Interstate 95.

First manager Jamie Cosgrove said the city welcomes Aldi and neighbor Chase Bank. The new development benefits the city by “increasing the tax base, jobs, as well as convenience for residents,” Cosgrove said.

“The aspect of redevelopment of a site that has been stagnant for several years – decades in fact – to see that repurposed, I think is overall positive for the city,” he added. The long-vacant property was once a series of car dealerships, most recently Branford Mitsubishi.

Residents are also eagerly awaiting the opening of the new store, he said.

“I’ve heard from a number of residents who are looking forward to Aldi coming to town — who are going to other places — to have this opportunity right here in Branford,” Cosgrove said.

Aldi is a German cousin of Trader Joe’s known for its low prices, high-quality store brands, no-frills style, and growing selection of natural and organic foods. Its American base is in Chicago.

Cosgrove said he was not concerned about the development’s impact on traffic. He noted that a new turning lane in the project has been added in recent months and traffic signals will be timed to match the flow of traffic on site. Road works are complete.

He noted that the state Department of Transportation approved the project before city approvals were granted.

However, this section of Route 1 and the I-95 interchange have been troublesome traffic spots in the city for years, Cosgrove said.

“This section of Route 1 as well as the interchange off the freeway, that’s something we’ve been looking to solve for a number of years,” Cosgrove said.

Cosgrove added, “We’ve had many concept plans and continue to engage DOT to try to get a design that would improve the overall traffic flow of this area.”

“Certainly outside of this project…it’s in the city’s interest to improve traffic,” he said. Cosgrove said he hopes the city can secure funding for a project with the passage of the $1 trillion federal infrastructure bill, of which the state is set to receive $6 billion.

City officials are awaiting more information on how to apply for the funds and “how we can access those dollars,” Cosgrove said.

“We see there’s an opportunity. The City of Branford will definitely push hard to take advantage of those dollars,” he said.

The applicant, at the time of approval on June 4, 2020, was Trumbull’s Sound Development.

Owners John J. Maturo, Jr. and Nicole Kovesces sold the property on June 20, 2020 for $2.2 million to HV Retail Development LLC, a Houston-based company established as a Connecticut business on February 16 2021.

A building permit was issued to HV Retail Development on April 15, 2021 for the project which includes a 19,210 square foot Aldi store and a separate 3,470 square foot Chase Bank building on nearly 10 acres.

Chris Daniels, vice president of the South Windsor division, said in a statement that Aldi stores “are deliberately designed for simplicity and efficiency”.

A typical store is about 12,000 square feet, making Aldi stores easier to navigate than traditional grocery stores, the statement said.

“The consistent size of ALDI stores across the country is intentional, designed to save time for our shoppers. Each ALDI has a similar, easy-to-shop layout, so it will always feel like shopping at your local store,” Daniels said in the statement.

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