New Grocery is "Coming Soon" to Replace Closed Newport Kmart
It looks like at least one replacement is on the way to Newport Plaza II where the former Kmart store sits vacant.
Gator Investments, the Florida-based real estate company that owns the site on the 1300 block of Monmouth Street in Newport, indicates on its website that an ALDI is coming soon.
The River City News reported in January that three national chains were said to be looking at the site after City Manager Tom Fromme indicated such at a city commission meeting.
A message has been left with Gator Properties while someone who answered the phone at ALDI's corporate office would neither confirm nor deny that a new location would open.
Fromme said that he had heard that ALDI was a possibility but had not been told for sure.
"I do know they have had three national retailers interested in that site and they are subdividing it into three spots. That's the information I've been given," Fromme said Wednesday.
"I think people realize that our location is hard to beat," Fromme said. "We really have an easily accessible location when you look at it from the fact that our proximity to Cincinnati and our proximity to Covington and along with the population base of Newport and Ft. Thomas and the surrounding smaller communities like Bellevue, Southgate, and Wilder, you have a tremendous amount of people that live within five miles of Newport Pavilion and the Newport Shopping Center area."
The ALDI news comes a day after it was learned that another new hotel would be coming to the Newport riverfront, as a Hampton Inn will replace the Travelodge that will be razed.
The Kmart space has been vacant since 2014 and is large enough to accommodate multiple new retailers. According to a map obtained by Fort Thomas Matters, ALDI will occupy approximately 20,000 square feet which would leave two other spaces on the site available at sizes of 20,000 and 45,000 square feet.
The new ALDI and Fresh Thyme stores will also be within walking distance of the massive new Kroger location at Newport Pavilion, offering multiple grocery shopping options to the heavy traffic that passes through the area. Recent traffic counts by the Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI), more than 75,000 cars go past the Grand Avenue exit on I-471 each day.
"I think it has a wide range of diversity of income levels," Fromme said. "Within that area, you have people on one end of the economic scale and people on the upper end of it. I think it is a safe area and I don't think traffic is really bad. It's busy, but you don't really have extended delays and things like that so you don't sit in traffic for long periods of time."
No opening date for ALDI was immediately available.
Written by Michael Monks of The River City News and Mark Collier of Fort Thomas Matters