German discount grocery chain Lidl (pronounced “LI-dull”), which is one of Aldi’s top competitors in Europe, is finally taking steps to break into the U.S. market, and Fayetteville is one of the first cities on its list of proposed store locations.
Basing its U.S. operations in McLean, Virginia just outside Washington, D.C., Lidl has not yet opened any of its stores on this side of the Atlantic, but it has already begun building a few in East Coast states. In Fayetteville, the company is eyeing the J&R Clothing location on the east side of Hwy. 85 directly across from the New Hope Road terminus and just south of Fayette Pavilion.
According to planning documents filed with Fayetteville City Hall, the nearly 36,000-square-foot Lidl building would be free-standing and would have 180 total parking spaces. The current J&R Clothing shopping center would be demolished to make room for the new store.
Developers are asking the city for a few variances, which will be discussed during next week’s Fayetteville Planning and Zoning Meeting at City Hall. Those variances include buffer encroachments and a higher percentage of impervious surface than normally allowed by city permits.
That meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday at Fayetteville City Hall. Even if planning commissioners give Lidl the thumbs-up on their requests, they are only a recommending body for these matters, and Lidl will still have to make the same appeal to the Fayetteville City Council, which is planning to put the request up for public hearings at their Nov. 17 and Dec. 1 meetings, also scheduled for 6 p.m. at Fayetteville City Hall.
And if you think Fayetteville needs one more fried chicken restaurant, you may be pleased to know Bojangles’ is lining up to fill that spot.
According to City Hall staffers, developers are looking to build the new 3,200-square-foot eatery on the corner of Hwy. 85 South and Summit Point Drive, just across the shopping center entrance from Wendy’s.
According to the Bojangles’ website, there are currently 714 locations , including 90 in Georgia. North Carolina has the lion’s share at 305, with most of the others located in neighboring Southern states. Strangely, there is also a single location in the middle of Pennsylvania, north of Reading.
Bojangles’ is also seeking variances from the City of Fayetteville, including one dealing with a 40-percent green space requirement. Developers say the site becomes unusable with that requirement, because it would limit the building itself to a size too small to accommodate a feasible restaurant. The hardship, they say, is due to a preexisting curb cut that serves the adjacent bank property.
Bojangles’ representatives, too, must make their case to the Fayetteville Planning Commission on Tuesday evening to get their approvals process rolling.