Aldi submits building plans for Navarre store; Dunkin' Donuts, T-Mobile coming, too
Navarre, breathe a sigh of relief: The Aldi's rumors are finally true.
Santa Rosa County Planning and Zoning Director Shawn Ward confirmed to the News Journal that the company officially submitted building plans for a Navarre location on April 1. The plans have yet to be reviewed by staff, but they are "about 12 inches thick rolled up," Ward said.
Tambre Lee, the county's development review supervisor, said the plans are for a 20,000-square-foot, single-story standalone structure.
"We are currently working on reviewing the plans for compliance with the Florida Building Codes," Lee said in an email to the News Journal, referring all other questions to the food market chain itself.
Aldi will build 564,000-square-foot distribution center in nearby Baldwin County
In emailed statement to the News Journal, Aldi did not directly address the new Navarre location.
"At this time, we do not have any information to share about potential ALDI stores opening in Navarre or Pensacola, Florida, but we can confirm that the new ALDI Loxley regional headquarters and distribution center, which broke ground in February, will serve stores in the Florida Panhandle," said Matt Thon, Haines City Division vice president for Aldi, in the statement. "We plan to open roughly 35 new stores in the Gulf Coast region, including the Florida Panhandle, by the end of 2022. We will continue to provide updates on Gulf Coast region expansion ahead of new ALDI stores opening."
The Illinois-based food market has more than 2,000 stores across 36 states, including dozens in the Florida peninsula and in Alabama. It's long been rumored that the company was planning to build a location at U.S. 98 and Ortega Street in Navarre, but Aldi's officials have remained mum, even though site plans and rezoning requests have consistently pointed to Northwest Florida's flagship store.
The construction plans are the most concrete evidence yet that the store is indeed coming to Navarre. The project's developer, Craig Kruse, also confirmed the store's plans to the News Journal on Tuesday.
The new store is expected to be the anchor of a larger shopping complex, with other commercial stores in the works as well. Kruse told the News Journal on Tuesday that a Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant, T-Mobile store and “possibly a Popeyes” chicken chain are also coming to the complex.
“I think the soccer moms want Dunkin’ Donuts,” Kruse said. “We need everything in Navarre. I mean, everybody with common sense thinks so.”
Previous site plans also show that a Whataburger, Panera Bread and Firestone Complete Auto Care store are proposed for property adjacent to the 20,000-square-foot Aldi store, though none of the companies have confirmed anything concrete.
Site plans show Aldi also intends to build grocery stores at 10290 Blue Angel Parkway in Pensacola and 4830 Mobile Highway in Pensacola. Escambia County officials said they have not received any construction plans from Aldi's yet.
In February, the company began construction on a new regional headquarters building and distribution center that encompasses 564,000 square feet and will be equipped to service up to 100 Aldi stores in the Florida Panhandle, Alabama, southern Georgia, Mississippi and Louisiana.
The Baldwin County building is expected to open by the end of 2022.
Annie Blanks can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 850-435-8632.