Bearden residents raise concerns over new Aldi

(WBIR- Knoxville) An Aldi store is planned for the Bearden neighborhood, and some residents are concerned it will not fit in with the community.

The new store is planned for 5214 Kingston Pike where an Ace Hardware used to be located. There are currently five Aldi stores in the Knoxville area, including Oak Ridge and Alcoa.

"They don't really tailor their stores to the community so I think that may have been a bit of the concern of the community," said Dennis Owen, a member of the Bearden Council.

The council recently met with Dave Hassen, director of real estate for ALDI Inc. Owen said they discussed their issues with the aesthetics of the typical Aldi building and questioned the demographics for the store.

"Do the demographics of Aldi fit in with the demographics of Bearden, Sequoyah Hills, West Hills?" Owen said. "We weren't really sure."

Owen said Hassen reassured the council that the customers that shop at Aldi would fit in with the Bearden community.

Hassen said Aldi is making some changes to the outside of the building to look like other buildings in the area.

These changes include adding windows, adding different architectural features like a peaked roof, using different brick, and additional landscaping.

"We want to be the best neighbors that we can be and understand that different areas call for aspects," Hassen said. "So we've got a few variations of our building we can use so we're going to incorporate a few of those in this particular area."

Owen said residents were encouraged about the project after meeting with Aldi to discuss their concerns.

He said the store is set to open in fall 2015.


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