WHITE HALL — White Hall’s Middletown Commons has secured national grocery chain Aldi as a future tenant of the new shopping center, with the store set to open in early 2022.
General Acquisitions LLC co-owner David Biafora, who is in part leading development of the Middletown Commons, said getting Aldi to open a store at the shopping center is a huge win, and he’s excited to land the first major retailer.
“They’re a great grocer to have,” he said. “They’re up and coming, and one of the strongest in the country. … We’ve worked on it for over two and a half years, and we knew it was a very valuable and important lease. All good shopping centers should have a grocer attached. It is important.”
However, Biafora noted that Aldi hasn’t moved in quite yet, and there’s still a few more months of work that need to be done before the grocery store is up and running.
“We have to do some prep,” he said. “Three sides are ready and the roof. They’re going to start in the next 60 or 90 days with their part on the interior and storefront. And it looks like, with the way they operate, (they’ll be open) sometime in the first quarter of next year, we’re going to guess.”
Biafora added that soon visitors can expect to see the restaurant Apple Annie’s, a health shake store, a pet store and a spa move into the Commons.
There are still several vacancies at the new shopping center as of now, and Biafora hopes the news of Aldi moving in will help convince some other national chains that the Middletown Commons is not just talk.
“We’re talking to a couple (of chains), and we feel like this announcement is going to push some more people,” he said. “We have some brokers on the outside who have contacted us but can’t disclose who they have. But they’re very interested because they see the progress that we’ve made in the last three months. They know now it’s a real deal.”
But, as anyone who has passed by the property can tell, the Middletown Commons itself is not quite done with construction, although Biafora said completion of the building is inching closer and closer each day.
“The interior nuts and bolts and all of the mechanics are really about 98% done,” Biafora said. “All of the new plumbing and new electrical and HVAC is pretty well done. The façade and exterior work is about 85 to 90% done. … Mon Health is coming along real good on the (back) side. The roof is about 85 to 90% done, and they’ve started paving the main road around the back because the utilities are about 90% complete.”
Construction on a new entrance to the plaza, set to be built at the intersection near the White Hall Walmart, is to begin in about 90 days.
“They want to get everything on the inside done and work their way up to the intersection, because once they open that up, they won’t have to disturb anybody on the inside,” Biafora said.
Overall, Biafora said the Middletown Commons is really coming together, and he can’t wait to show the shopping center off to the world once construction is fully complete.
“We’re excited to be in Fairmont,” he said. “It’s a great place, and it’s only going to get better.”
Fairmont News Editor John Mark Shaver can be reached at 304-844-8485 or [email protected].