A German discount grocery chain that’s been eyeing three adjoining properties on Columbia Avenue has acquired the parcels for a total of $3.6 million, courthouse records show.
But it’s still not known when Lidl expects to build a store on the 4.55-acre suburban site, on the northeast corner of Columbia Avenue and Good Drive.
“It is too early to offer specifics on this site, but I can tell you we look forward to serving customers in the community with high quality and low prices,” a Lidl spokesman said.
Lidl filed a sketch plan with East Hempfield Township for the 2001-2017 Columbia Ave. site in 2017.
Later, Lidl filed a land development plan for a 26,000-square-foot store and 120 parking spaces. The plan won conditional final approval from the township supervisors in August.
The company has yet to meet all the conditions, which include paying certain fees and fulfilling other requirements, a township official said. Once Lidl does, it can apply for a building permit.
Lidl signaled in May that construction was not imminent when it announced a list of 25 stores it plans to open by spring of 2020. The list does not include the site here.
Lidl opened its first U.S. stores in 2017. It has about 65 open now.
The three properties here changed hands in two real estate transactions recorded in the courthouse June 11. They include a 1.7-acre parcel at 2001 Columbia Ave. that Lidl purchased for $1.5 million from Centerville Associates.
A 2.6-acre parcel at 2015 Columbia Ave. and a 0.25-acre parcel at 2017 Columbia Ave. were purchased for $2.1 million from Michael G. Doerr.
The properties, occupied over the years by a service station, used car lot, body shop, trailer park and various other small businesses — are vacant.
Lidl’s site is opposite a CVS and near a Travelodge motel. Its German rival Aldi is opening a store nearby on Rohrerstown Road in Lime Spring Square.
Lidl originally sought to develop a second store in Lancaster, targeting the Rodeway motel and adjoining vacant Italian Villa East property at 2331 Lincoln Highway East. But the retailer withdrew that plan later in 2017.