Aldi supermarket planned for Rocky Point shopping center

Aldi, the German-owned discount supermarket, may be coming to Rocky Point very soon.

Developers have proposed that the new grocery store move into vacant stores at The Crossroads Shopping Center at 85 North Country Road (Route 25A) in Rocky Point. The mall was the former home of Modell’s Sporting Goods before the legendary New York metro area chain went bankrupt in 2020.

The end cap on the mall’s east side is vacant, formerly home to Modell’s and Mattress Firm, which has since moved to another mall unit to the west, likely to make room for a larger retailer.

Plans call for additions to the unit totaling 2,170 square feet to add space for the Aldi supermarket at the east end of the building. According to the plans submitted to the city, the additional spaces will be on the northeast side of the building, a construction of 1,996 square feet and another addition of 174 square feet at the rear of the building.

Builders are also seeking approval for facade and site work. The facade change will encompass the entire strip mall, making it a bit more in line with the Aldi brand.

Attorney Bram Weber of Weber Law Group in Melville represented the grocery store at a meeting of Brookhaven’s planning board on Aug. 1, where he reviewed the plans and variances needed for the project.

Built in 1970, the mall sits on 4.57 acres and has parking for 150 cars, according to loopnet.com. City zoning calculates that 321 spaces are needed for the entire linear mall as proposed. Aldi is requesting an exception for 216 spaces including 7 disabled-accessible stands, a 32.5% deviation from code totaling 105 less spaces.

Reviewing the elevations, board members commented on how the Aldi supermarket at the east end of the building in the new design looks very different from the rest of the mall to the west.

Brookhaven City Council member Richard Smith said from the drawings they looked like “two totally different buildings glued together”.

“There is no continuity,” Smith said. “I’m not comfortable with this elevation.”

Weber posted the designs indicating that the architecture of the Aldi supermarket is typical of the brand’s appearance and that the other colors of the mall are linked to conform as much as possible while respecting the layering requirements of the hamlet.

“It’s a good overall upgrade to the exterior of the mall,” Weber said.

The town planning council has put the question on the decision calendar. The board approved the request and the variances at its August 15 meeting.

Top: An Aldi supermarket in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, in 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Exterior shot of The Crossroads shopping center in Rocky Point. (Credit: Lon Cohen)

Edwin S. Wolfe