Subdivisions are sprouting all over Baldwin County and Fairhope is seeing its fair share, with retail sure to follow.
National grocery store chain ALDI recently announced plans to build a new store in Fairhope on a seven-acre site on the northeast corner of Alabama Route 181 and Fairhope Avenue.
“As the fastest-growing city in the state, I’m sure this contributed to their decision to open here,” Mayor Karin Wilson said. “This corridor will be significant and ultimately serve as the village center for Eastern Fairhope.”
Fairhope has no shortage of grocery stores, Wilson said, but she believes ALDI will bring in some different ideas and products.
“The city of Fairhope may have more grocery stores per capita than any other city,” she said. “However, I think it’s exciting to have a new option for residents that may bring different variety.”
ALDI officials did confirm an interest in the Fairhope market to go with its 1,800 stores in 35 states and 20 or so stores in Alabama. The Fairhope store will be the first in the state south of the Montgomery area. Plans are to have a total of 2,500 stores in the chain by 2022, officials said.
“Last year, we opened 150 new stores, and in 2018 we expect to open another 150 stores across the country,” Mount Juliet Division Vice President Troy Marshall said. “In 2017, we remodeled more than 500 stores. We are on track to remodel nearly 400 stores in 2018.”
That remodeling trend will continue, Marshall said, even as more and more new stores are built and open.
“We’re investing $1.9 billion to remodel and expand more than 1,300 U.S. ALDI stores by the end of 2020,” Marshall said. “This is a significant investment in our stores, but it’s really an investment in our shoppers. We’re evolving to meet their changing tastes and needs, and in return they have made us one of the fastest-growing retailers in the U.S.”
More houses are being planned in Fairhope, which will bring ALDI and other city retailers more potential customers. In the Nov. 5 planning commission meeting, requests were made for two subdivisions with a total of 144 lots.
The largest was for 112 lots for a new subdivision on the north side of State Road 104 east of County Road 13. The new development will be called North Hills at Fairhope.
A second 32-lot subdivision was requested for Fox Hollow Phase Three to be located on the east side of County Road 13 about a quarter mile south of Morphy Avenue. The request was made by Montrose Properties.