Sunday, July 4, 2010

Aldi comes to town .... at last!

We have a new player in the supermarket stakes! 

Aldi had long purchased a site next to the council chambers and just 100 metres down the road from Woolworths Supermarket, however, construction ground to a halt 'cos of "heritage concerns" for the site they wanted to occupy when the foundations of an original flour mill were excavated and because of concerns of damage to an existing historically significant (tho' long defunct) adjoining structure.

Didn't matter that immediately prior to their purchase of the site it had been used as a farm produce supply store and a bulk fuel supply depot. Suddenly there were objections from all quarters. It must have been very threatening to Woolworths almost complete monopoly of grocery supermarkets. in our town - there is an IGA/Franklins on the Northern side of town, several klms away.

Suddenly, this week, everything changed and on the concrete floor slab that had been previously poured some time ago the walls started to go up this week!

This is a view to the rear of the site that shows an historic flour mill storehouse site that had fallen into disuse and disrepair that suddenly become a point of interest for the historical society (wonder who was 'urging' them on?).

I had had the occassion to refute the viability for restoration of the old mill storehouse in the local press by pointing out that a survey I had made of the mill on behalf of the local council while I was employed by that council had revealed it was in an advanced state of disrepair and would cost a fortune to make it fit for any useable general purpose and a king's ransom to make it viable for human occupation - the historical society wanted it turned into a multi-story museum of local history - a use purpose which our council simply did not have the $1M (+) to put into restorative work when we already had more pressing civil works needing attention.

Nor was there any sign of a cashed-up benefactor on the horizon!

Apparently Aldi have now agreed to preserve within their floor area a view of the foundations of the very first commercial flour mill built in Yass that were uncovered during the original excavations of the floor area. This has appeased the objectors who were also under pressure from townspeople who wanted a second supermarket in the central area of town.

So it's a case of "Up!" "Up! and away!" for Aldi and we will have another supermarket operating by December, complete with its own 'off main-street' dedicated parking and drive-thru parcel pick up point at the rear!

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