Thursday, May 16, 2019

[LOOK] Lidl Would Like to Lease Long Forgotten A&P in Marietta

A third Lidl grocery store is planned for Cobb County.  The new store, to be located at 670 Whitlock Avenue in Marietta, is to open in place of a onetime A&P grocery that later operated as a World Gym, but which has been vacant for about ten years.  Cobb County property records indicate that the approximately 31,000 square foot building was originally constructed in 1973.  Cobb officials indicate that the A&P has been closed for nearly three decades.
Lidl in Snellville 

Marietta Mayor Steve “Thunder” Tumlin announced the German grocer's plans at the annual State of the City address Wednesday.  Lidl has reportedly submitted preliminary plans to open a new store on the site of the former A&P.  According to Daniel Cummings, economic development manager with the city of Marietta, once Lidl formally submits its proposal to Marietta, city staff will begin reviewing the documents.  Given the early stage of the process, Cummings was unable to provide ToNeTo Atlanta any expected or theoretical timeline for construction or completion.  

The city previously tried to condemn the property, but was unsuccessful, and the gym business that was the most recent occupant did not put any money into the structure, the mayor said.

A demolition permit was issued March 11 for the property at 670 Whitlock Avenue, which according to property records, would also include 668 Whitock, as both properties have the same owner, "BREA&D WHITLOCK LLC."  The LLC, an affiliate of Atlanta-based Blanchard Real Estate, does not own Dave Poe's BBQ at 660 Whitlock and other adjacent businesses in the center that to the naked eye, seem to be part of a single parcel. County records show Blanchard paid $1.85 million for the property this past November.  The adjacent businesses are expected to stay, and stand to potentially benefit from the planned redevelopment.  

The former A&P at far left 

The likely redevelopment of the former A&P in Marietta should be a good sign for residents in East Cobb. Neighbors have grown frustrated with a former Bruno's and adjacent center, Sprayberry Crossing, which has sat largely abandoned for more than two decades, and is controlled by a seemingly less motivated owner.  Lidl has previously expressed interest in opening at least one store in East Cobb and perhaps their new real estate direction will allow them to entertain space at Sprayberry Crossing. 

The Marietta store would be the third Lidl location in Cobb County and fifth in Georgia for the grocer. Lidl's existing Cobb County stores are at 2641 Powder Springs Road in Austell which opened this past January, and 4844 Floyd Road in Mableton, which opened this past February. The company also has a store on Stone Mountain Highway in Snellville which opened this past January.  Lidl's first Georgia store opened in Augusta in 2017.  

All four existing Atlanta area stores follow the company's previously announced blueprint of being 36,000 square feet and freestanding.  That said, this new store and others the company is considering, could be smaller and in some cases, make use of existing spaces, rather than starting from scratch, according to a report by Grocery Dive which cited Lidl real estate documents.  

Inside the Snellville Lidl 

In 2015, Lidl announced plans to open 50 stores in Georgia by 2018.  That plan fell about 49 stores short.  The grocer reportedly hired a very young, inexperienced real estate team that did not have the experience or relationships to get so many deals done so quickly.  The grocer had plans for or was in talks for over a dozen stores around Georgia, but few of those stores are still moving forward according to various real estate sources.  

ToNeTo Atlanta has learned of at least four locations in metro Atlanta that the grocer is scouting for new stores, three of which are former grocery stores, and the fourth of which is currently occupied by a grocer.  It's unclear how close deals are to being finalized on the spaces in question. Things may become more clear following RECon, the International Council of Shopping Centers' annual convention taking place May 19-22 in Las Vegas.  

Are you a Marietta resident excited at the prospect of having a new grocery option in the area?  Have you been to one of the four Atlanta area Lidl stores?  What is your favorite grocer in metro Atlanta?

Please share your thoughts below  


Wendi said...

I love Lidl. If you like Aldi's, you'll LOVE Lidl. We drive from Sandy Springs to Snellville or Mableton on the reg, depending on other errands we have to run. I am STILL angry that Sandy Springs chased them away.

Anonymous said...

They came in talking a big game and just failed to deliver.
They had plenty of sites under contract but simply terminated most of them.
I'm still trying to figure out what they offer that I don't already have within a couple miles from my house.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lidl: There's an abandoned Whole Foods on Lavista. #justsayin (and yes, I'd prefer Trader Joes, but I'm guessing that building is too big)

Anonymous said...

With 2/3 of Chamblee plaza on the rebound with home goods th max and 5 below I am anxious to see the third section that used to be a grocer get a total renovation and someone move in. Who or what might that be? Lidl? Aldi? Marshall’s? Bjs? MORE apartments?

Scotty said...

They need to up their food game st Chamblee Plaza. The Chinese buffet is so gross, the Quiznos is outdated and dead, and the ihop is the worst in the chain, I go past Chamblee to norcross when I need ihop.

Anonymous said...

Lidl and Aldi are NOT destination grocers. Nothing special at all!

Anonymous said...

Lidl is (already) shutting down two stores in North Carolina.

Anonymous said...

I visited a Lidl when passing through North Carolina last year and stopped out of curiosity. It was fine, nothing to get overly excited over but it did seem to be a small step up over Aldi.

The grocery wars are intense right now. I do a little of all of them depending on my needs, mood and sales. Aldi isn't my top choice yet I've bought from there before. I was actually a fan of the Walmart Neighborhood market because of low prices without the hassle of a SuperCenter yet those didn't last long. I'm close to a nice Publix and nice Kroger so I usually shop who has the best sale that week.

I won't rule out Lidl but I wouldn't drive out to Cobb just to say I'm shopping there.

Anonymous said...

You are not saving money or time if you are driving out of your way to several different grocers on a normal basis. Same with clipping coupons for mostly unhealthy items and hitting up multiple stores for the best "deals". It's redundant to drive from Cobb County to Gwinnett for groceries! Most wouldn't even bother to drive from Sandy Springs to Mableton to save a few dollars. I would not get too comfortable with Lidl as a grocer with all the problems they have had entering the US market. They are already closing stores!

Wendi said...

I'd be curious to know which grocery chain you work for, given your answers, but, I digress. Not everyone is a housewife or retired, going from home to the store. I work at the Midtown/Downtown line and live in Sandy Springs. My husband ride shares during the week. So, we stop at various stores that are along our path, and not out of our way. Our budget is tight and if we can get staples cheaper somewhere, we do it. Every little bit helps. It also cracks me up when people turn their nose up to Aldi, then turn around and shop at Trader Joe's. You might want to hit The Google on that one.

Anonymous said...

Time will tell is Lidl is able to make it in the US. The two stores they are closing are in smaller, not very affluent towns in NC where they probably shouldn't have opened to begin with. They've changed their real estate focus since then and are going to open stores in existing buildings, particularly in the NY metro area, rather than building them all from the ground up. Going into this old building in Marietta is a sign they may open in other neighborhoods in our area that way. We're pretty remote from their east coast store base, though, and the recently released list of new stores they plan to open over the next year didn't include any in Georgia.

Anonymous said...

@ Wendi

Bless Your Heart, your post(s) contain conflicting personal information. Neither Snellville and/or Mableton are on your "path" home to (Sandy Springs) from work (Midtown/Downtown). Maybe another job will help with your financial problems, instead of posting about your husband's "ride share grocery trips" and you obsessed with Google / Trader Joe's. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Lidl and Aldi in Snellville are in terrible locations, on opposite ends of town, that are not easy to access or near anything else that I need when running errands. The produce is smallish and just does not look good. I have given them both more than one try but there is nothing special about either one. Same reason I don't buy fresh foods at Walmart. The quality is just not there!

Location and quality are dealbreakers when grocery shopping. You get what you pay for as the saying goes.

Scotty said...

Publix Brand is better than Trader Joe’s

Wendi said...

I, for one, appreciate the competition and the choice. I am a transplanted Memphian, where Kroger has the monopoly on the market. With the exception of a few local stores and a newly opened Trader Joe's, Kroger is your only choice besides Super Walmart or Target. They have basically blackballed Publix from coming in, despite them being in every other major TN city. So, I have enjoyed not only all the chain choices, but the Buford Hwy & DeKalb Cty Farmers Markets too.

From what I've read, Lidl hired the wrong real estate folks, causing bad placement and delayed construction, thus the Carolina closings. The other grocery chains also have surprised them by offering competitive pricing once they came in. Not sure how long that will last, but I'm sure that's why they're rethinking things. And, with Amazon entering the picture, I'm sure we are going to continue to see changes across the board.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see that they are opening additional locations.

Nice stores and great prices.

That stretch of Whitlock has been vacant for some time.

Super glad the BBQ place will remain.

Any word on the store that was to open in North East Cobb?

Unknown said...

I love Lidl and am so excited to hear that they will be moving into the old A&P location!

Anonymous said...

Only convenient grocery store around whitlock is Kroger and it's usually pretty crowded with a packed parking lot. I'm happy to see another grocery store move in so there is another option for local shoppers.

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