ITHACA, N.Y. — Here at the Voice, we try and keep tabs on the comings, goings and expandings of Ithaca’s retail scene. Sometimes, it’s sad news, like the impending closure of the Enchanted Badger game shop. Today, it’s good news – Aldi’s will be growing its Ithaca store, offering an increased array of goods and a fresh look.

It’s the same story for the German budget supermarket chain’s Cortland location as well. Aldi’s is renovating and expanding stores across the country, a massive 1,300+ store project that’s liable to cost more than $1.5 billion over the next few years. Ithaca and Cortland are among the first to get the new layout, and the location at 505 Third Street in Ithaca’s Northside neighborhood will be adding about 2,700 SF to its 15,780 SF footprint. The addition, which will be on the south side of the building facing the intersection of Third Street and Route 13, will allow expanded fresh food offerings (meat, dairy and produce), and will enable Aldi’s to install new energy-efficient refrigeration units. Along with the bigger building will be new signage and a re-striped parking area.

This project kinda slipped under the radar because as an expansion that increases the store by less then 50%, there was no need for the project to take a trip before the city Planning Board. However, they did need to go before the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals in April so that they could install slightly larger signage than what’s permitted (the Planning Board can make a recommendation on whether it’s worth granting a variance or not, and in this case, they simply said they had no issues with it). Victor-based APD Engineering and Architecture is in charge of the project.

According to staff at the regional corporate office in Tully, while the store is open at the moment, it is likely to be briefly closed to accommodate some aspects of the construction. One representative suggested a short shutdown late this month, but hedged it by saying the dates were uncertain.

Update: According to store staff, the store will be closed from August 21st through September 29th.

Brian Crandall

Brian Crandall reports on housing and development for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached at bcrandall@ithacavoice.com.