An Aldi grocery store is under construction at a shopping center on Anaheim Street in Central Long Beach at the site of a major fire in December that destroyed multiple businesses.

The Aldi is being built at the corner of Anaheim and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and was part of an originally planned overhaul of the shopping center, which included the construction of the grocery store and renovations to other business facades in the strip mall.

However, a major fire in December destroyed those other businesses, displacing operators who were open through the renovations. Crews have already started work on the foundation for the new 18,504-square-foot Aldi, but it’s unclear when the store will actually open.

In a statement, Tim Cindel, a divisional vice president for Aldi, said that they had no additional information to share about the new store. When it does open, it will become the second Aldi location in Long Beach.

Plans for the store, as well as a conditional use permit that will allow it to sell beer and wine to go, were approved by the Planning Commission in August 2020.

Aldi is the German parent company of Trader Joe’s, but its branding is significantly different from those stores, which employ playful branding and Hawaiian-shirt-clad crew members.

Aldi, which now has over 2,000 locations in 36 states,  is known for being a low-cost leader and uses cost-saving methods like having fewer employees per shift, charging rental fees for shopping carts, requiring shoppers to bring their own bags and avoiding brand names in its stores.

The new location is being constructed just a few blocks west of a new affordable housing development at Anaheim and Walnut Avenue. The 88-unit development, which will also house formerly homeless seniors, is expected to be completed late this year.

East Anaheim Plaza shopping center destroyed in overnight fire

Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @JasonRuiz_LB on Twitter.