ALDI in store for Ephrata Township

By on November 2, 2016

It appears that talk of an ALDI grocery store coming to Ephrata Township may be inching closer to reality.

The plan is to convert the former CK Sportswear building adjacent to the Ephrata Marketplace Shopping Center, which also houses the new Giant Food store, into the new ALDI.

Earlier this year news about ALDI broke when it was learned the corporation was participating in a PennDOT traffic feasibility study on additional volume at the intersection of Route 322 and Pleasant Valley Road. With no significant hurdles surfacing, the project is now in the lengthy zoning and planning process.

Ryan J. Gram of Kimley-Horn presented supervisors with details of that first step, namely the preliminary land development plan.

According to Gram, ALDI officials plan to utilize the existing building plus a 4,000-square-foot addition to create the new store. A renovated façade and additional parking are also planned.

ALDI, considered discount grocers, operates nearly 1,600 stores in 34 states.

According to planning documents submitted to the township, the store is expected to only receive one truck per day. That truck would be an ALDI truck and would be expected to arrive within a 12-hour span from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Township Supervisor Tyler Zerbe questioned Gram on how other vendors’ products would arrive at the store if only one truck is expected per day.

“Almost all products are ALDI’s own brands and come in on their own trucks,” said Gram. “The Pepsi guy Frito-Lay guys do not come to the store but go to the distribution center. Everything that comes to the store comes from that distribution center.”

At the Tuesday, Nov. 1, meeting, supervisors considered a number of technical issues with regard to the project.

The first issue focused on possible reconstruction of the existing street. ALDI officials requested that requirement for reconstruction of the private street to the center line be waived. That waiver was denied.

However, supervisors agreed to defer the reconstruction of the private street until such time as the township, at its discretion, determines that the improvements are necessary in the area.

The second issue was whether ALDI would be required to install sidewalks. ALDI requested a waiver. Township engineers suggested that the township deny the waiver but allow the applicant to defer the requirement until such time as the township determines that the improvements are necessary. Supervisors agreed, approving as recommended.

According to Gram, no official timeline has been set as to when work on the project might start. He pointed to the long process that lies ahead to navigate it through the zoning and planning process. However, he was optimistic the project would move forward to completion.

The project will next be considered when the township zoning commission meets Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 7 PM.

In other land development news, supervisors approved the revised final land development plan for the Denver Wholesale Foods project. Plans for the project call for a 2,100-square-foot addition to the existing 87,555-square-foot building located at 20 W. Mohler Church Road, at the southwest corner at Meadow View Drive.

Supervisors also approved revised final plans for a proposed annexation of approximately 2.2 acres of land from John F. Martin & Sons Inc. to Olde Lincoln Properties LLC (Elite Coach).

While the new owners have no plans to develop the land in the foreseeable future, the additional land may eventually be needed for Elite bus storage. The parcel is nestled between properties already owned by the two companies.

Township Engineer Jim Caldwell requested permission to move forward with replacement of the traffic control cabinet at the intersection of Route 322 and Hahnstown Road at a cost of $17,800.

During the 12-month routine maintenance, local electrical contractor C.M. High Inc. workers found that the existing unit had become unstable and unable to be repaired in a safe, reliable, and cost-effective manner.

Of primary concern to maintenance officials and engineers was the possibility that the unit could fail, causing not only an electrical but also a traffic safety hazard. The supervisors voted to move forward with the replacement as quickly as possible.

Township Solicitor Charles Sheidy updated the supervisors on the status of the Pawnbrokers, Antiques, Secondhand, and Junk Dealers Ordinance he has been working on.

“When I met with Lt. [Thomas] Shumaker, he said the police department staff would like the township to enact an ordinance identical to the Ephrata Borough’s ordinance so that it would make it easier for police to enforce since both ordinances would be the same,” said Sheidy.

He said a revised copy of the ordinance has been given to township Manager Steve Sawyer to review with Ephrata Police so that the supervisors can consider a motion of an intent to adopt.

For additional information on Ephrata Township, visit its Web site at

Gary P. Klinger is a free-lance journalist and welcomes your questions and comments via email at



  1. Sarah

    November 3, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    Ephrata already has a Giant, a Walmart, Weis, Redner’s Market, Sharp Shopper, Glenwood Foods, Martins and Ebenezer. That is eight grocery stores! Also many of the stores are clumped together. If Aldi would want to move into town it may be a better fit to put it on the k-mart side of town where they do not have a grocery store. Also, if the residents of Ephrata have needs for things other then groceries such as clothing or shoes we have the options of K-Mart, Walmart or second hand stores. It would be nice to have the option of buying clothing in town from somewhere other than the stores listed above.

  2. Marilyn

    March 3, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    Aldi’s is a great store and has lots of great deals and their food products are better than some of the name brands sold in other stores. I would shop there any time. I highly recommend this store.

  3. Margaret

    July 4, 2017 at 10:38 am

    Great prices,good food,friendly employees. Love shopping at Aldi.

  4. Lisa A Bailey

    December 5, 2017 at 10:31 am

    HELLO PLEASE relax these people working at Aldis have a lot to do right now. They all work stock, register and back of the store. They keep the number of employees down to keep the prices down. And the cart: push the quarters all the way in and pull the chain in front out. When you return it, push the quarter all the way in and push the chain in the FRONT cart in the front of the quarter. Aldis is a great store.

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