Discount Grocer Aldi Plans Richmond Road Store

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Aldi plans to open a location at the former site of the Governor Spottswood Motel (Ian Brickey/WYDaily)
Aldi plans to open a location at the former site of the Governor Spottswood Motel (Ian Brickey/WYDaily)

A global supermarket chain is coming to a long-vacant property on Richmond Road.

Aldi, a discount grocery chain, plans to open a location at the former site of the Governor Spottswood Motel at 1508 Richmond Road.

Bobby Singley of RJS and Associates said the German-based corporation was in negotiations to purchase the property from its current owner, listed in city records as the Governor Spottswood Motel.

Because negotiations have yet to be finalized, Singley could not reveal the sale price for the property. Singley said the company hoped to close the sale by July.

The most recent city assessment valued the property at $2.4 million.

Aldi Director of Real Estate Josh Walls said the company had been interested in opening a Williamsburg location for several years.

“We’ve been actively searching for more than two years now,” Walls said. “It’s an exciting market, but it’s a tough market.”

A site plan filed April 27 with the city Planning Department shows a proposed building set back from Richmond Road on the site with parking access from Richmond Road to the north and from Ironbound Road to the west.

Two other parcels would sit between the store and Richmond Road, which could be leased to other businesses in the future.

Because the proposed Aldi site is not adjacent to Richmond Road, the building is not subject to approval by the Architecture Review Board. Buildings on the other two plots would be subject to ARB approval, as they abut Richmond Road.

Williamsburg Director of Economic Development Michele DeWitt said the city had tried for several years to entice Aldi to open a store in the city.

Walls said the proposed infrastructure improvements to Ironbound Road were a significant factor in Aldi’s decision to open a Williamsburg location.

The city’s capital improvement plan for fiscal year 2016, which was approved by the City Council last week, projects more than $2.7 million for improvements to the street, including relocating its intersection with Longhill Road to facilitate the flow of traffic.

Walls also said the site’s proximity to the College of William & Mary and residential areas in the city made the Richmond Road location especially attractive.

The Governor Spottswood Motel operated at the Richmond Road site for more than 50 years before closing its doors around 2006.

Singley said there was no timeline for construction, but said Aldi wanted to have the project completed “sooner rather than later.”

When the new store opens, it will be the third grocery store to open in the City of Williamsburg, after Food Lion in the Williamsburg Shopping Center and Harris Teeter at Quarterpath Crossing.

If the site plan is approved next week, the plan could go before the Planning Commission at its June meeting.