An artist’s conception of the South Alex development planned for North Kings Highway. (Combined Properties image)
Aldi has signed a lease to be the anchor grocery store for the new South Alex development in the Penn Daw area.
An official familiar with the newly executed lease said the deal was finalized Friday, and should be officially announced soon.
Representatives from Aldi and the South Alex developer could not immediately be reached.
Originally founded in Germany, Aldi is an Illinois-based discount grocery chain that currently has eight locations in the City of Alexandria and Fairfax County, including a store at at 8356 Richmond Highway in the Mount Zephyr area.
South Alex, a mixed-use development located at the spot of the old Penn Daw Plaza on North Kings Highway, will feature 400 apartments, 44,000 square feet of retail space and 41 townhomes. It will be the first mixed-use development in Penn Daw, which is envisioned as one of the six community business centers in the Embark Richmond Highway initiative.
An artist’s drawing of the Towns at South Alex. (Craftmark Homes image)
The townhomes — which are called The Towns at South Alex — will be in the rear of the development and are currently under construction. Construction of the apartments and their ground-level retail space, however, has been on hold until an anchor grocer was signed. The grocery store will make up 25,000 square feet of the retail area, according to Combined Properties, the developer who owns South Alex.
Originally The Fresh Market, a North Carolina-based grocer, had been interested in the putting a store in South Alex. But the deal fell apart in the summer of 2016, bringing demolition of the old Penn Daw Plaza to a halt only months after it started. Demolition later restarted, but the site was largely untouched until early construction of the townhomes began in the summer of 2017.
In September 2017, Combined announced they were in negotiations with a national grocer, and said a deal could be weeks away.