BUSINESS

Supermarket chain Aldi buys Moreno Valley site for a headquarters

Supermarket chain Aldi, which plans to open 650 new stores in the U.S. in the next five years, has acquired a 55-acre site in Moreno Valley where it will build its Southern California regional headquarters.

Aldi, which is based in Batavia, Ill., will construct an 850,000-square-foot distribution center east of the 215 Freeway at Redlands Boulevard that is intended to serve about 200 stores in the region, real estate brokerage the Klabin Co. said.

The price of the land acquisition from Ridge Property Trust was not disclosed. The site has local government approvals for large-scale warehouse development, Klabin Co. President David Prior said.

In December Aldi announced plans to open 650 new stores in the U.S. in the next five years including building a Southern California regional headquarters and distribution center in Moreno Valley.

The expansion would be the budget grocer's first step into the Golden State. Most of its nearly 1,300 U.S. stores are on the East Coast or in the Midwest.

“We are eager to bring the Aldi difference to new markets like Southern California,” President Jason Hart said in a December statement. “We're ramping up our expansion plans to meet growing demand.”

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In the next five years, Aldi plans to open about 130 new locations a year, up from its average of 80 stores in recent years. The company did not disclose when or how many of its shops would be in the Southland, nor did it give a timeline for the opening of its headquarters or distribution center.

Aldi is based in Germany and owned by the Albrecht family, which also controls the Trader Joe's chain, based in Monrovia.

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 roger.vincent@latimes.com

Twitter: @rogervincent

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