A new Aldi grocery store is nearing completion at the entrance to Tampa Premium Outlets, off State Road 56.
Another Aldi in Zephyrhills that has been stalled for years over relocation of a traffic signal is nearing final decisions, and a potential allocation of state funds.
But, coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) likely will determine the grand opening for the one off State Road 56, and the construction of the other, in Zephyrhills.
The store near the outlet mall is expected to open soon, an email statement from Matt Thon, Haines City Aldi division vice president, said.
“At Aldi, we know now, more than ever, our service to the communities we serve is critical during these unprecedented times,” Thon said. “We have been focusing all of our efforts on ensuring food and household goods are available in our existing stores.”
But, he added, Aldi is “working to open new stores where we can do so safely.”
The store’s contractors are moving forward with permits and inspections, according to county records.
Due to COVID-19, Pasco County is broadening its use of VUSPEX, a mobile video inspection application, to complete inspections.
The Aldi building is largely completed.
Aldi currently is hiring nationwide and for the Wesley Chapel store, Thon said.
No information on a construction start from Aldi is available currently on the Zephyrhills store.
However, the Florida Department of Transportation did approve the relocation of a traffic signal at Merchant’s Square and Townview shopping centers to U.S. 301 and Pretty Pond Road, clearing the way for the proposed Zephyrhills Aldi.
The relocation also includes a traffic signal to serve the shopping centers, according to Todd Vande Berg, Zephyrhills’ planning director.
Funding for the project is in the Florida budget, said Vande Berg.
But, shortfalls from unplanned expenditures related to the coronavirus pandemic could affect Florida’s budget.
A reallocation of funds could be coming, either from Gov. Ron DeSantis’ veto pen or potentially from a special legislative session.
“These are unusual times,” Vande Berg said. “Because of that, we don’t really know impacts on the budget.”
Earlier this year, Aldi opened a new store in Odessa. The store was part of a major expansion for the discount grocery chain, based in Illinois.
Those interested in working for Aldi, should visit Careers.Aldi.us.
Published May 13, 2020