OWATONNA — After purchasing land in the city about four years ago, ALDI is set to build a supermarket to Owatonna.

Matt Lilla, division vice president for ALDI, said the company is hoping to break ground as soon as weather permits, and that the store will look similar to other ALDI locations.

“It’s going to be our prototype store,” Lilla said. “The size of those, right now, is roughly 17,000 square feet with a sales floor that is about 10,600 square feet.”

When shopping at ALDI, Lilla said as much as 90 percent of the brands customers are purchasing are exclusive to ALDI. Lilla said they are able to provide store exclusive brands in different varieties for a cheaper price than available at other grocery stores.

“It’s different than a generic brand,” Lilla said.

The store will be located on the northwest corner of the intersection of old Highway 14 and 24th Avenue NW on the city’s west side.

Lilla said the company is very excited about its store location in Owatonna, which will be near other retailers like Lowe’s, Kohl’s and Wal-Mart. He said that having other retailers in the area will help draw business to the new ALDI location.

“We think that is going to be a great location. It’s right near other grocery stores and other retailers,” Lilla said. “People will already be traveling to do their shopping.”

Lilla and officials with the City of Owatonna confirmed that ALDI isn’t looking for any special financing to build its new store.

Community Development Director Troy Klecker said it’s exciting to be adding another business to that area of town.

“Anytime we can get a new retail business, that’s only good for the whole community,” Klecker said. “That area, it’s kind of a large retail area for us. The more retail we can have there, the bigger draw it is for the whole area, so adding another retail store out there will just bring more people to that area. It should be positive for all the businesses out there.”

Once the weather permits the construction crews to break ground for the new building, which Lilla expected to be around late-April or early-May, it would take about six months to finish the construction of the new store. Lilla declined to comment on how much it would cost to bring the chain to Owatonna.

With a plan for a six-month construction calendar, the ALDI supermarket will be opening about the same time that the new Fareway supermarket is slated to open its doors. Fareway plans to open sometime in the fall.

Owatonna is just part of a continued growth for the ALDI brand. According to the company’s website, there are more than 1,000 ALDI stores spread across 31 states. Lilla said ALDI is the ninth largest grocery chain in the world, and that the company is projecting to add between four and eight stores every year for the foreseeable future.

“The company has been growing extremely quickly,” he said.

Lilla said the company acquired the land around 2009, and the decision was made to bring the brand to Owatonna because of the continued success it has seen in other areas. Lilla said the company is excited about bringing a location to Owatonna.

“It’s a great market to be a part of,” Lilla said. “We’re going into a really nice and developed retail area.”

Reach reporter Al Strain at 444-2376 or follow him on Twitter.com@OPPalstrain

Reach reporter Al Strain at 444-2376 or follow him on Twitter.com@OPPalstrain

I am a reporter for the Owatonna People's Press covering cops, courts, the city beat, business, agriculture and features. I graduated from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa in May of 2012. While in college I majored in Communication Arts with an emphasis