Dartmouth Mall Aldi a Smart Idea [OPINION]
The announcement that Aldi will locate a market at the Dartmouth Mall where Sears once reigned supreme makes sense for the mall and the community.
For several years, At-Large City Councilor Ian Abreu has attempted to lure Aldi to New Bedford. Aldi is known for low prices and quality produce. My mother-in-law in Rhode Island and my cousin in Florida have raved about Aldi for years. I have visited the Aldi location in Fall River only once, and I can see why it is popular with some shoppers.
The mall's owner, Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT), filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last year. It's a tough time to own a mall. The survival of malls depends upon their level of creativity in finding ways to draw crowds. Attracting tenants such as Aldi makes sense for the mall and its customers.
Located at the eastern tip of the mall in space to be shared with Burlington, Aldi will have its own parking area, which will be convenient to its customers while not taking space from the other stores in the mall.
The Dartmouth Mall, still largely successful while other malls in the area have failed, is hampered by town regulations that do not allow for expansion beyond the mall's current footprint. The only way the mall can grow is to re-work its existing space. By slicing the former Sears property into two parcels, the mall accomplishes that goal while providing new experiences for the shopper and additional tax revenue for the town. Everybody wins.
The new Aldi location is expected to open sometime this fall.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.