Lidl closes on $3.4M Dover site acquisition

Lidl — a German discount supermarket chain — bought a long-vacant 7.5-acre piece of property that runs from 122 to 162 North DuPont Highway in Dover last week for $3.4 million. According to site plans filed with the city of Dover, it’s expected that the retail chain plans to build a new location there. (Delaware State News/Ian Gronau)

DOVER — Lidl — a German discount supermarket chain — closed on a $3.4 million purchase of a long-vacant stretch of U.S. 13 from 122 to 162 N. DuPont Highway in Dover last week, according to Charles Rodriguez of R&R Commercial Realty. It’s anticipated that the roughly 7.5 acre parcel will be the site of the chain’s newest location. A spokesperson with Lidl declined to comment on the purchase.

“I think it’ll really help out Dover if they end up constructing the building fairly quickly because it kind of ties in well with what’s going on at the Capital Station shopping center,” said Mr. Rodriguez. “Lidl and Aldi are going to compete a little, but overall it’ll help generate more activity for that part of town.”

Capital Station shopping center, currently under construction on the U.S. 13 and East Division Street intersection, is rising from the ruins of the old Playtex plant that was demolished last year. Aldi — also a German discount supermarket chain and one of Lidl’s direct competitors — intends to be an anchor tenant at the new shopping center.

Site plan?

Lidl developers originally applied for a site plan to build a 36,185-square-foot grocery store at the recently purchased location in July 2016.

However, the grocery chain revised the plan in March with a new site development plan application to permit construction of two new buildings — one being a smaller Lidl store — and accompanying site improvements.

The new site plan called for a 25,400-square-foot building, which would be the grocery store, as well as another 7,500-square-foot building that has a proposed use as a retail space.

Dover planning director Dave Hugg says he hasn’t heard from Lidl management recently, but expects that they’ll be contacting his office soon in light of the recent purchase.

“I assume this means that although Lidl has recently pulled out of several nearby markets, they’re serious about Dover,” he said. “The resubmitted plan is the last that we’ve seen, but it’s not official. Right now, we’re at a wait and see stage.”

Lidl is one of the largest retailers in the world, operating nearly 10,000 stores in 27 countries throughout Europe.

The company established its U.S. corporate headquarters in Arlington County, Virginia, in 2015 and is planning an aggressive expansion in the United States market, according to multiple reports. Lidl expects to open dozens of stores on the East Coast this year.

Brandon Proctor, president and CEO of Lidl US, has said the stores will be different than traditional American stores.

“We look forward to introducing American consumers to a different type of shopping experience,” Mr. Proctor has said. “Our philosophy is simple: we are focused on offering customers top quality products at the most competitive pricing in convenient locations. We plan to build on the foundation that has made Lidl so successful in Europe, while creating a unique experience for American consumers that will be unlike anything else on the market.”

Coming soon

Wolfies Grille — After 15 years at their location on South DuPont Boulevard in Smyrna, the bar and grill closed down and announced plans to move to a new location in Dover. According to the bar’s Facebook page, the new location on 510 Jefferic Boulevard in Dover will offer an “expanded menu” and “full-service private party room.” The new location is expected to open in mid-October.

Announcements

• Plato’s Closet — The clothing store closed its Dover location on Sunday with the intention to fully remodel it and reopen on Thursday. According to the owner, Grizel Muniz, the store on 1267 North DuPont Highway will get a fresh coat of paint, new flooring and new fixtures. For more information, visit platosclosetdover.com or call (302) 346-4687.

• Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant — The Delaware-based brewery recently earned its 48th medal at the Great American Beer Festival, a festival and competition presented by the Brewers Association. Solzhenitsyn, brewed at the Media, Pennsylvania, location, earned a medal in the Aged Beer category while The Cannibal, brewed at Maple Shade, New Jersey, medaled in the Belgian-Style Pale Strong Ale category.

 

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