Monday, October 31, 2022

[Third Time's The Charm?] Lidl Looks to Finally Land Latest Cobb County Store

A new Lidl grocery store is being proposed in Cobb County.  Plans filed in September with the Cobb Zoning Office show Lidl is requesting the rezoning of 3.47 acres at the southwest corner of Canton Road and Piedmont Road for a 31,000-square-foot food market. A former Eckerd turned Rite-Aid building (2833 Canton Road) occupies about 1.4 acres of the site.  The building, constructed in 1998, has been vacant since Rite Aid shuttered it in 2018.  

The subject land, which includes an undeveloped parcel behind the former Rite Aid building, is zoned neighborhood shopping (NS) and Lidl is requesting it be rezoned community retail commercial (CRC).  A hearing before the Cobb Planning Commission is scheduled for December 6.   Lidl is also asking for a number of variances, including a slight reduction of the minimum number of parking spaces and others related to fire access and signage.  The full filing can be reviewed here.  

This marks the third attempt by the grocer to open in northeast Cobb County in the past few years.  Lidl had hoped to open a a new location at the site of the former Park 12 Cobb movie theater in East Cobb, but that request was turned down by Cobb commissioners in 2017, citing traffic concerns. (The former movie theater is instead being converted into a new self-storage facility.)  Lidl subsequently was interested in being the anchor tenant of the mixed-use redevelopment of the Sprayberry Crossing Shopping Center but abandoned their plans in late 2021 over concerns relating to traffic access and visibility on Sandy Plains Road. 

Germany-based Lidl currently operates eighteen stores in Georgia including five in Cobb County: Austell, East Cobb, Marietta, Mableton and Woodstock.  The company this past July closed a store along Roswell Road in Sandy Springs after less than two years in operation.  That said, Lidl is continuing to expand in metro Atlanta with a new store on Bethelview Road in Cumming expected to debut in early 2023 followed by another on Highway 92 Woodstock later.  Further down the line, new stores are also planned for Jimmy Carter Boulevard in Norcross and Ponce de Leon Avenue in Midtown.  East Cobb News first reported on the grocer's Canton Road plans.  

Real estate sources tell ToNeTo Atlanta that Lidl and others have slowed or tabled some developments in the wake of accelerating construction costs.  Things are expected to normalize during the first half of 2023.  

Do you think Lidl's requested variances in Cobb County should be approved?  What is your favorite grocery store?  Do you prefer Lidl or Aldi?

Please share your thoughts below.

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