Aldi grocery store coming to Alabaster

Store and city officials celebrate the opening of the Pelham Aldi store in 2011. The company is planning to build a new store at the intersection of U.S. 31 and Shelby County 11. (File)

Store and city officials celebrate the opening of the Pelham Aldi store in 2011. The company is planning to build a new store at the intersection of U.S. 31 and Shelby County 11. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

The Aldi grocery store company is planning to bring its second store to Shelby County at the intersection of U.S. 31 and Shelby County 11 in Alabaster, according to construction documents filed by the company.

According to documents filed on the LDI-Line website, Ldiline.com, Aldi is planning to build a 17,651-square-foot grocery store at the corner of the two roads. LDI-Line hosts and sells documents and prints related to several construction projects in multiple states.

The future site of the Aldi store was graded several years ago, and is behind the city of Alabaster’s welcome sign and flags at the intersection.

The Ohio-based Deerfield Construction and the Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Morgan Construction Company are the contractors for the project.

Project plans call for the store to offer access from U.S. 31 and from Shelby County 11, and call for improvements to the two roads to allow the access points. The store’s main parking area will face Shelby County 11, and a smaller parking area will face U.S. 31.

The Alabaster store will be Aldi’s second in Shelby County and its eighth in the Birmingham metropolitan area. The company opened a 17,500-square-foot store off U.S. 31 in Pelham in March 2011.

Aldi Food Markets have several differences from many other area grocery stores. Aldi offers limited name-brand products, and relies heavily on its own store brands.

Shopping carts are rented for 25 cents each, and the quarter is refunded when the cart is returned to its rack. Shoppers must also either bring shopping bags from home or purchase them at the checkout line.

Because Aldi charges for bags and rents shopping carts to customers, the store is able to keep its prices down by not assigning employees to collect shopping carts from the parking lot and bag groceries.

Emails to Aldi’s media relations firm had not been returned as of May 23.