Budget grocery giant Aldi is, indeed, eyeing construction of a new, freestanding store in the north parking lot of the former Sears at North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road.

North Riverside Village Planner Bob Kallien confirmed to the Landmark that after the newspaper published a story in November about the apparent plan, he received a call from an attorney representing either Aldi or the property owner about the development process.

Subsequently, Kallien said, he also talked to an engineering firm about what was needed to develop an Aldi store in the mall outlot.

“I had some concerns about the site plan in the photo that was in the newspaper, and they said they’d like to talk about that,” Kallien said.

In addition to submitting an application to begin the planned development process, the development would need to be reviewed by the village’s engineer and would need a permit from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago.

The property owner, Seritage Growth Properties, is understood to have already started the MWRD review process. The agency has shared with the village Seritage’s application to build a flood-control system at the site.

Kallien said that once a developer submits a planned development applications to the village, it would take about three months to go through the approval process. However, according to Kallien, “They’re not near ready to do so.”

If a new Aldi ends up being constructed in the North Riverside Park Mall outlot, the company would close the store it currently operates at 2000 Harlem Ave. in North Riverside, Kallien said.

Last month, the Landmark learned that a real estate brokerage firm courting developers at the mall property had produced marketing materials indicating an Aldi store was “coming soon.”

Neither village nor mall officials could confirm those plans at the time. After the Landmark piece ran, the attorney called Kallien confirming Aldi’s interest in the site.