The Board of Supervisors said “Wilkommen” to German discount grocer Lidl on Tuesday when it signed off on plans to build a 30,000 square foot store at the Chantilly Crossing Shopping Center.
This store will be its first in Fairfax as the grocery chain enters the U.S market. Located on a five-acre empty field, the future store will be built on the southeast corner of Lee Road and Chantilly Crossing Lane. The board’s zoning approval also allows the company to build an 18,000-square-foot multi-tenant, retail building next to its grocery store. Both buildings will join the shopping center’s existing restaurants, two extended-stay hotels, drive-through bank, and a Costco and Target.
As part of its approved plan, Lidl will build a new entrance from Lee Road into the shopping center. Shoppers would be able to enter traveling north or south on Lee Road, but they would only be able to turn right onto the northbound lanes to exit.
Lidl’s store will feature contemporary architecture, while its 30,000 square foot print is larger than the grocer’s average 10,000 square feet in Europe.
Beyond the expected name and store brand basics, the company also sells clothes, appliances and household goods in its stores (this may include lederhosen!).
While Lidl operates 10,000 stores in 27 European countries, it’s been quietly moving into the U.S. grocery scene since the news 18 months ago that it would locate its corporate headquarters in Crystal City. At that time, Governor Terry McAuliffe announced the company would invest $202 million in Virginia, including a distribution center in Fredericksburg.
The Chantilly store fits its preferred criteria for its U.S. locations: sites that are minimum of four acres to support a 36,000 square store with 180 parking spaces situated at a high-traffic, high visibility intersection. Lidl prefers to own its properties rather than lease them, and it is looking for locations along the east coast from New Jersey to Georgia. The grocer could have up to 150 stores open in the mid-Atlantic by 2018, according to real estate information firm CoStar.