LIDL Grocery recently moved to the next step of developing a store location in Blackwood NJ by finalizing the purchase of the property for $2.95 million dollars.
The documents were signed in December of 2021, but just recently submitted to the County.
The LIDL property is located at the corner of the Black Horse Pike and Lakeland Road, catty-corner from the shopping center which is home to Sam’s Bar.
We are trying very hard to get a project timeline update from LIDL but at this time they have not responded.
We have to consider that despite some significant site prep work being completed, LIDL has only owned the property for a few months… so this is still VERY early in the development process.
There are some doubters already regarding the status of this project, but with this transaction happening in the last 4 months… it feels like an indication the project is going to happen.
Keep scrolling down for more! We rundown the timeline up to this point,.
Specific to the property sale and timing, it was a little extra complicated as the end result re-splits the larger empty lots into two newly defined properties:
- The corner LIDL property at 3.6 acres
- A separate property to the right (which is not changing hands) at 1.8 acres.
The previous property layout for the extended lot was well.. convoluted and looked like a section of a jigsaw puzzle. The new property layout is a very crisp two-thirds and one-third split.
These property changes undoubtedly have added to the timeline for the project to get to this point, at it required lawyers and the government to approve, so yeah… it takes time.
In fact, while the project and initial subdivision was approved on October 2020 (just 18 months ago), they had returned back to the planning board in March of 2021 to make a small change to the new property lines.
But First, What is LIDL?
We’ve been covering all of our area’s activity with LIDL for several years, and have been on top of the Blackwood project since it’s initial Planning Board presentation.
LIDL is a German based supermarket chain, with a model similar to Aldi of focusing on a fewer number of products in an effort to offer discounted prices. LIDL also features an in-house bakery as part of their store design.
Lidl recently opened a new store in Glassboro and Cinnaminson, and a Chery Hill location opened in early 2020.
Also in the plans for LIDL area locations are Somerdale, Williamstown and Voorhees. Another location is targeted for Mount Ephraim.
42Freeway feels the Blackwood location is well suited for a new grocery option, as the area is in need of continued redevelopment and growth.
While located close to the newer Gloucester Premium Outlets and the Dave & Busters entertainment center, the placement of the LIDL could help to be a catalyst for additional positive development down to the Northern portions of Black Horse Pike in Gloucester Township.
How Did We Get Here? What Do We Know?
I get a message or comment to me about 3 times a day asking about the Blackwood LIDL project status.
And the Facebook town groups for Gloucester Township are loaded with questions (and doubts) about the LIDL Blackwood project.
Commenters, after seeing some significant site prep work being done with new dirt last year, and then no additional work for the next six months… well that was enough to start people to start questioning project’s overall status.
Within Facebook I will politely ask these very confident commenters where they get their information from, and the most solid info I’ve heard so far has not been official… just passed on down the lane from someone who knows someone.
Look I understand the skepticism from residents. This is the THIRD Lidl project presented for Gloucester Township, and the first two locations which LIDL chose years ago are definitely not happening.
And for LIDL Blackwood, while I am not 100% certain the Blackwood LIDL is still coming, I am putting more validity in the THREE MILLION Dollars that just changed hands a few months ago to say “This thing is still alive until someone officially tells me it’s dead”
All that being said, they are selling a $3 million dollar piece of property in Mantua which they’ve owned since 2017.
42Freeway “Where ya been?”
And my apologies to those I haven’t responded to regarding the LIDL status.
Simply, I previously didn’t have any new information to give, and have been reaching out to LIDL Corporate and Gloucester Township for any updates on the project that they could share.
I received no official responses.
Part of this is… Maybe this is just my own personal hang-up but it seems that reporters calling from media outlets like the Philadelphia Inquirer or The Courier Post are taken more seriously than a website “blogger” called 42Freeway. I am certain that more of their calls get answered and more of their emails get replied to.
What an out-of-state Company like LIDL doesn’t realize is, that in our area for development related topics like this… I am very confident in saying 42Freeway carries the same, if not more weight, than those media “big guys”.
So all that being said… I can’t get an official answer. Maybe this post will get a response.
I mostly understand. They are PRIVATE businesses and at this stage of the project they don’t have to share anything with me.
Could you imagine if someone from your neighborhood knocked on your door saying “Hey I write the town newsletter and I hear you are considering putting in a pool. Can you share your status on your pool project?”. I bet 9 out of 10 of you would forcibly kick that person off of their steps! Ha!
Well a private business does have similar rights.
Also I REALLY stay away from rumors and hearsay.
I love the house my wife and I have, and our meager savings… and I’d like to keep them. Let’s just say big media conglomerates like Gannet (Courier Post) have attorneys to back up journalist stories and protect the reporters, and Mark from 42Freeway does not!
The Real Timeline – Just The Facts, Please
This is a big project with a lot of approvals and property changes needed, and I think people are really expecting too much from the project in the short amount of time it’s been approved.
That being said, I still do not know the official status going forward.
Initial Approval – 18 most ago
LIDL Blackwood was approved by the Gloucester Township Planning Board in late August 2020.
Remember this is during a pandemic when the workforce was greatly reduced and materials weren’t (and still aren’t) getting delivered.
They also needed to get approval from the County Planning Board and other entities.
And they had to change the property lines around significantly.
Approval Part II – One Year Ago
In March of 2021, LIDL returned to the Gloucester Township Planning Board for adjustments to the earlier approved property lines.
I don’t know details on this but I imagine it stemmed from requests of other agencies who needed to approve the project, or maybe once they started finalizing the design of the property they simply needed to readjust a bit.
Keep in mind that at this time a year ago LIDL owns nothing in Gloucester Township. Before the contract can be signed and completed, they have to have the plan 100% locked down.
Again that approval was just one year ago.
Site Prep Starts – 7 months ago
In August of 2021 we reported that the site prep work had started at the property, basically bringing dirt in to raise and level the property.
After several weeks of work… nothing has really happened for the next six months (until today)
So let’s remind everyone that despite a significant amount of dirt being brought in…
… LIDL still did not own the property at that time!
And of course they aren’t going to develop, without clear ownership.
For me, my first thought is that the dirt the contractors put down needs to settle over many months to compact down, before building can take place. I still have a memory of seeing a similar process when the Brooklawn Kmart was developed 45+ years ago on top of swamp land!
LIDL Purchases the Property – 4 months ago
And that brings us to today, and the core of this post.
At the end of December 2021, less than four month ago… documents were signed regarding LIDL taking ownership of the property.
I alluded to this earlier but it was then a solid 3 months before the transaction was submitted to the County records, so I don’t know how those extra months factor into this and if it means LIDL actually just took possession weeks ago.
It’s a big project on a complex property that needed a lot of approvals.
A project like this takes time.
When Does It Start? When Will It Be Opened?
I do not know the answer to those questions.
As I mentioned, I really need the private LIDL firm to answer that question.
For the town, I am confident that as of today no building permits have been submitted. But before anyone jumps on that… the property just changed hands recently.
I also reached out to the prior property owner, who is a large but family owned area construction firm who I believe is familiar with the project. Well I only emailed them this morning, and if I hear from them and I get solid details, I’ll share.
Consider Cherry Hill and Somerdale
The Cherry Hill LIDL Store property changed hands in October of 2018. It opened in Feb 2020.
Cherry Hill store went from property sale to open, in just 16 months.
Well that sounds kind of awesome! Maybe in 18 months the Blackwood store opens!?
But then consider Somerdale.
LIDL purchased the Somerdale property in September of 2020. It is now 18 months later and the last I looked there has been no real construction activity at all… except for some tree clearing.
So I don’t know what to tell you at this time!
Links And Location
LIDL – Proposed for Blackwood Gloucester Township New Jersey
Black Horse Pike & Lakeland Road
Blackwood New Jersey
Prior Blackwood Coverage
- LIDL Grocery Blackwood: Site Prep Work Starts (Aug 2021)
- Lidl Grocery Approved for Black Horse Pike Blackwood. Lidl Announces Blackwood as a Store Opening By End of 2021. (Aug 2021)
- LIDL Proposed For Black Horse Pike in Gloucester Township. Empty Lot Diagonal From Sam’s Bar Shopping Center (Aug 2021)