Proposed Lightfoot Lidl put on hold

A Lidl grocery store proposed to be built in Lightfoot later this year has been put on an indefinite hold.

The James City Planning Department received an email from Kimley-Horn, the consulting firm assisting Lidl in the project, in December 2017 that stated the German discount grocery store wanted to pause the project.

“At this time, Lidl would like to table the application until further notice,” James City Principal Planner Ellen Cook said, restating the short message.

No reason was given for the decision, she said.

Jeremy Yee, Kimley-Horn project manager for the application, didn’t return a message left Tuesday. Lidl didn’t return a request for comment.

The project had been presented to the Planning Commission’s Development Review Committee but had yet to be voted on by the Planning Commission itself.

The nearly 36,000-square-foot store was proposed to be located on two pieces of land at 6495 and 6515 Richmond Road. It was scheduled to open later this year. Smith Memorial Baptist Church is on one of those properties, and the other is vacant property behind Five Brothers Pancake and Steakhouse.

Lidl has aggressive plans to open stores in the United States. The discount grocery chain has more than 10,000 stores in 27 countries and plans to open more than 100 stores on the East Coast within the next year, including 20 stores in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Lidl looks for locations in established retail locations with a minimum of four acres and 36,000-square-feet that can handle at least 180 dedicated car parking spaces, according to the grocer’s website. Plans for the proposed store call for a parking lot facing Richmond Road with 177 parking spaces.

Four grocery stores are already located within 3 miles of the proposed Lidl location. Those stores are the Harris Teeter off Richmond Road in the Lightfoot Marketplace, the Williamsburg Premium Outlets Food Lion and a Walmart Supercenter in the Cedar Valley Shopping Center off of East Rochambeau Drive and the Norge Farm Fresh.

Jacobs can be reached by phone at 757-298-6007.

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