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ST. PAUL-The Aldi grocery chain has won final city council approval for a new store on the southwest corner of University and Lexington avenues. Wellington Management, which is buying eight acres at the intersection’s southwest corner, plans to sell a parcel for $2 million to Aldi, a discount grocery chain aiming to build a one-story 15,000 sf store along University Avenue.

Two neighborhood groups had asked the council to overturn approvals of a site plan and lot split enabling Wellington Management to move forward with the project. University United coalition and the Lexington-Hamline Community Council argued that the project was too modest for such a major intersection. They also argued that the city should have required Wellington to detail its plans for the rest of the site before approving the grocery store.

Demolition has begun at the site, including razing a closed-down shopping center. Developers say the Aldi project will help finance additional phases that include restaurants and buildings with commercial space on the ground floor and upper-story housing.

Meanwhile, Aldi recently won approval for a preliminary plan from the Farmington city council a grocery store on the corner of County Road 42 and Minnesota 3. Aldi opened its first store in the Twin Cities a year ago, and now has four stores in the market with an additional four on the way next year.

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