Plans to bring an ALDI grocery store into Detroit Lakes are continuing to inch toward the checkout counter.

The Detroit Lakes Planning Commission will be holding a public hearing related to the proposed ALDI project at its next meeting, Thursday, Feb. 25; public comments are being accepted now through 11 a.m. that day.

The commission will be considering a preliminary plat plan that, if approved, will create the space needed to accommodate an ALDI store at the front of the Boys & Girls Club Thrift Store parking lot.

The thrift store has been working with the city and submitting all the necessary paperwork to keep things progressing. ALDI store representatives have stayed quiet so far, telling the Tribune they’d reach out if or when they were ready to comment.

The thrift store is located on 14.5 acres at 1305 U.S. Highway 10 West in Detroit Lakes (the former Kmart building).

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Thrift store board member Scott Busker submitted an application to the city on Jan. 29 seeking to subdivide the thrift store property's existing two lots into three new lots. These new lots would accommodate the thrift store, an ALDI, and “future redevelopment,” according to the application.

The thrift store previously applied for a variance from the city to allow a shared parking area between those three lots; that variance was unanimously approved by the Planning Commission in October and then later approved by the city council. This latest application seeks approval of the lots themselves, as now platted.

Community Development Director Larry Remmen said the ALDI development plan hasn’t really changed since the approval of that first variance last fall; this is simply the next step in the process.

“The plan is still to start construction this summer,” he said.

Comments on the project may be emailed to comments@cityofdetroitlakes.com or submitted to Larry Remmen at PO Box 647, Detroit Lakes, MN 56502. The public hearing on the project will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 25, via Zoom, and can be viewed at www.youtube.com/channel/UC0GpCMakDfLSGX5At0thJTA.

ALDI is a German-based supermarket chain with more than 10,000 stores in 20 countries.