Lidl modifies plans for Dover location

DOVER — Lidl, a German giant in the European grocery market industry, has modified its plans when it comes to its future development in Dover.

Lidl developers originally applied to build a 36,185-square-fot grocery store right near the heart of downtown Dover in July 2016.

However, the grocery chain went back to the city of Dover’s Development Advisory Committee on Wednesday morning 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 Lidl location was originally set to be just a grocery store, but circumstances have changed on their end and they came back to us with a proposal for a smaller grocery store and a second building, which is a retail building that doesn’t have a signed tenant yet,” said City Planner Eddie Diaz.

“So, we told them that we would need a new Planning Commission application and here we are.”

The location of the Lidl store remains the same. It is planned to be built on a site bounded by U.S. 13 – which the store front will face – as well as Maple Parkway and Kings Highway.

All existing buildings on the site will be demolished.

Lidl’s new application is now calling for a 25,400-sqaure-foot building, which will be the grocery store, as well as another 7,500-square-foot building that has a proposed use as a retail space on a property that covers 6.73 acres.

Lidl unveiled its original plans before developers for Capital Station announced about six months later that an Aldi grocery store, Lidl’s rival, would be the anchor of a new shopping and restaurant complex at the site of the former Playtex plant at the intersection of U.S. 13 and Division Street.

“We’ve got huge projects that are right next to each other,” Mr. Diaz said. “The (Lidl) grocery store is pretty much exactly where it was when they first proposed it back in 2016, it’s just about 10,000-square-feet smaller.”

Lidl’s most recent application will be considered by the Planning Commission at its meeting at City Hall on Monday, March 19.

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 will be opening a regional headquarters and distribution center facility in Spotsylvania, Virginia.

The combination of the moves are part of Lidl’s expansion into the United States market – including the grocery store in Dover.

It is expected to open dozens of stores on the East Coast of the United States starting this year.

Will Harwood, a spokesman for Lidl, said that the company’s markets offer customers fresh meat, produce and bakery items, as well as a wide selection of household goods, at the lowest possible prices.

“Our company is really committed to delivering a convenient shopping experience that’s unlike anything on the market,” Mr. Harwood said.

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

“We look forward to introducing American consumers to a different type of shopping experience,” Mr. Proctor 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.”

Delaware State News staff writer Mike Finney can be reached at mfinney@newszap.com.

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