UPDATE: GIANT FITNESS TO REMAIN. LIDL Deal is being Canceled. Read all the details in this new post, as well as news on exciting Giant Fitness projects throughout South Jersey.
LIDL Grocery has submitted plans to Gloucester County to develop a location in Woodbury Heights, to be located on the Mantua Pike (Rt 45).
A Woodbury Heights Planning Review Meeting would also need to be conducted ahead of any development.
The properties LIDL is targeting for the project are the Giant Fitness property, the now closed OceanFirst Bank property which sits alongside of Giant, as well as an empty lot behind the bank property.
The new proposed LIDL will be a new construction 31,042 sq ft building and provide for 160 parking spaces.
Giant Fitness is currently operating on the property, as well as a few other smaller storefronts in a portion of the same building. This is early in the LIDL project and we are not clear on the full timing of the project… or what would become of the existing businesses located there.
Mark from 42Freeway reached out to the Giant Fitness owner for comment as he owns the Woodbury Heights gym property, and presumably would be selling his property to LIDL. We have not heard back ahead of this article’s publication.
As another location reference, the Southwood Shopping Center (W. Deptford) is directly across Route 45 (I met with the new Southwood owner last week, and should have an update on his plans to share with readers later on this week!)
LIDL Woodbury Heights
More specifically on the location and property size.. the new LIDL would sit on route 45/Mantua Pike taking the full frontage between Elm and Maple Avenues.
This development would combine multiple properties into one, and create a lot size area of 3.83 acres.
The full property to be developed is “L” shaped, going back further on the Giant Fitness side (Maple Ave) to include what is now the rear parking area. This goes about 500 feet back from Mantua Pike.
The bank side of the property will of course include the bank lot, and also a mostly cleared lot behind the bank. This goes back about 300 feet from Mantua Pike.
It seems that because of the “L” shape of the property, the core LIDL Grocery building will be developed in the larger Giant Fitness portion of the project area, running longways down Maple Ave.
Looking at the property from Mantua Pike, the building will be on the left side and go back down along Maple.
The entrance to the store will be the front corner of the building, facing into the inside of the larger property… making it more central to the grocery store’s parking areas.
The current bank property will be parking; one section of what I see as three parking areas for the new grocery.
It’s easiest to look at the included site plan image to follow along, but I like to give a written explanation also!
The main entrance into the LIDL property will be directly off of Route 45 in the center (of the two connected properties). Parking would be positioned both to the left and right, as well as the far side of the LIDL building.
Elm and Maple Avenues will both have access driveways.
Elm Avenue to the south is currently a traffic signal intersection and should see a fair percentage of grocery shopping traffic as that signaled intersection is a key way for cars to cross over Route 45.
While I didn’t mention it earlier, on the other side of Elm is the Hollywood Cafe restaurant and bar.
Timing of this project is basically impossible to say.
As mentioned, this is being reviewed now by the county and based on comments in the documents which 42Freeway obtained via an OPRA request, information was also presented to the town very recently.
Keep in mind that LIDL has half a dozen or more new grocery projects in various stages of development and approvals including Blackwood, Williamstown, Somerdale and more… so it’s tough to say how this most recent Woodbury Heights project fits into their timelines.
LIDL Grocery – What is it?
LIDL is a German based discount grocery chain, with a model somewhat similar to Aldi…. which many in our area are more familiar with.
Maintaining high quality products is a key goal for LIDL, and they achieve this by focusing on private label brands which enables them to have better control over quality and freshness.
LIDL sells a selection of all the core items you would see in a larger full supermarket, but maybe just not the same variety of each item.
So similar to Aldi, you can find; meat, fish, vegetables, cheeses, grocery items… and special buy products for home and garden.
A big difference with LIDL stores (over Aldi) is LIDL stores include an onsite bakery.
LIDL has been building a presence in the USA and the Delaware Valley for several years, and today there are over 160 stores in the US.
In our extended area they currently operate stores in Vineland, Cherry Hill, Glassboro, Cinnaminson and Burlington.
They latest “wave” of building out a larger store presence in South Jersey has been hampered by Covid pandemic impacts (construction and approvals) as well as several lawsuits questioning town approvals.
As mentioned this is very early in the approval and design process, so it is difficult to pinpoint a timing for the project. We will keep an eye out for local Woodbury Heights Planning Board meeting being scheduled, and inform readers.
Links and Locations
LIDL Woodbury Heights – PROPOSED
880 Mantua Pike
Woodbury Heights, NJ 08097
LIDL USA Corporate Website