What’s going on with Aldi coming to Beaufort Co? Here’s what we know

A grocery store franchise that expressed interest in a Beaufort County location over a year ago is still remaining tight-lipped on whether plans to open a store in the county will happen.

Aldi — a German-based companyapplied for store space in Bluffton in June 2018 when it appealed to the county’s design review board to make changes to the exterior of the building that anchors the shopping center at U.S. 278 and Burnt Church Road.

But the store front remains empty with no noticeable changes.

“At this time, it is still too early to confirm any details about potential stores in Bluffton, Beaufort or Hilton Head, South Carolina,” Shaun O’Keefe, the Jefferson Division vice president for Aldi, said Friday. “We will be in touch as soon as information becomes available.”

The grocery chain applied for the store space after plans for a Fresh Market at the location fell through in May 2018 when Fresh Market filed a lawsuit against Jaz Development.

The lawsuit alleged that Jaz Development claimed Fresh Market had not been paying rent or fulfilling the conditions of its lease. Fresh Market said the developer had not been paying an agreed-upon tenant improvement allowance and asked that a judge to declare the developer to be in default of the lease.

The store said Friday that it plans to open a store in Pooler this fall. An exact date is not yet available, O’Keefe said.

The chain plans to open at 152 Traders Way and will be around 22,399-square-feet and will include more than 100 parking spaces.

Caitlin Turner is the retail and business reporter for The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette. She has worked in the news industry for five years in both Ohio and South Carolina and loves the Lowcountry life.