Aldi grocery chain buys Blount 911 property

A grocery store will stand on the site where the Emergency 911 Communications building now stands.

The Aldi grocery store chain that started in Southeast Iowa in 1976 bought the property for $1.55 million on April 15 for $1.55 million. Troy Marshall with Aldi-Tennessee signed for the grocery store chain and 911 board chair Judge William Brewer signed on behalf of the board.

Brewer said the board and chain had been negotiating for about three months. “I got word they were interested in locating in this area. They looked at several sites and decided the one we had to offer was one they wanted, and we’re glad to be selling it to them,” he said.

The terms by which the 911 center would move out of the facility factored heavily into the decision to sell to Aldi. The company has 60 to 120 days to complete due diligence, and it will allow the 911 staff to continue using the facility for another six months beyond that time.

“The timing was perfect because the closing and vacating of this place should coincide with the date our building will be ready for occupancy,” he said. “When you factor in the cash price they’re going to provide, with the terms of possession, the board thought it was a good price and certainly the timing was a great deal. It saves us having to move twice. That saved us a whole lot of money just for that.”

The judge said the six months free rent in effect made a difference in negotiations. “If you factor in terms, six months free rent, more than that and not having to pay the expense of moving twice, we’re getting what the board thought was fair,” he said. “We had the place appraised last year, and we think it’s fair.”

Brewer said the initial estimate for the new 911 center was $2.5 million. “We’re hoping, based on the economy, it will come in less,” he said..

The judge said another plus to the deal was the property goes back on the tax roll. “We’re happy to get that back on the tax roll so they can generate revenue from property taxes and sales taxes,” he said. “Certainly we would’ve sold it to anybody who gave us a fair price, but we’re really happy to benefit the city with the tax revenues it will generate.”

The company will have the 60 to 120 days to complete due diligence, present site plans to the Alcoa City Commission and getting zoning and entrances and exits worked out for the new building. Once that is complete, work will start in earnest. The judge said it would probably take about nine months to finish the new building located off Honeysuckle Road in west Blount County.

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