MAIN STREET CLOSED, IN BOTH DIRECTIONS, BETWEEN UNIVERSITY AND ELMWOOD
Out With The Old, In With The New
It was all quiet on the East Peoria front Friday morning as the new ALDI opened its doors.
The grand opening of the Levee District store comes a day after the controversial closing of ALDI's Western Ave. location, which outraged residents of Peoria's south side who no longer have a full-service grocery store within walking distance. That outrage came to head last Saturday, when dozens of people protested ALDI's decision.
But the controversy didn't bleed over into the ribbon cutting ceremony at the new store.
"It doesn't change anything for us. We're still as excited as we've ever been about the new location," said ALDI Divisional Vice President Heather Moore. She said the company took the decision to close the Western Ave. store after 25 years very seriously, but ultimately, it was a business decision to move to the up-and-coming part of East Peoria.
"But we are very excited to be able to open a replacement store. It's much bigger, and we are able to carry a much more extensive line for them," Moore said.
She added that the company is altering one of its policies to make way for a new store at its old building, which is now up for sale.
"Typically, in a real estate situation like that, we do limit who can go into that location. But in this case, with Western, we are lifting the restriction for grocery. So, any potential buyers with a grocery use, we would certainly talk to them," she said.
Peoria's south side wasn't the area to lose an ALDI this week. The location on S. Main St. in East Peoria also closed Thursday. Both of them were closed in order to make way for the new, bigger location on Clock Tower Drive. Moore says all of the employees at the two other stores kept their jobs.