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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

German Grocer Coming to the Lehigh Valley

German discount grocer Lidl (pronounced like needle) is coming to the Lehigh Valley. It has plans for both Whitehall Township and Wilson Borough. And as Bethlehem Township Commissioners learned during their August 21 meeting, a 36,000 sq ft store has been proposed at Freemansburg Square. That's directly across the street from the recently constructed Shoprite Supermarket, but Lidl engineer Mike Jeitner stated that the company's strategy is to "entrench ourselves in corridors that already have traffic." he hopes to have all approvals in place so that construction can begin next year.

Lidl has humble beginnings. It was first established in 1973, at Ludwigshafen, with three employees. Today, there are over 10,000 stores in Europe. This expansion has spread to The United States. Although the stores here are chiefly located in Virginia and the Carolinas, Business Insider reports that it plans to open as many as 600 stores in the U.S.

Jeitner describes Lidl as a "specialty store. It will be something that definitely appeals to the American customer." Its chief competitor is Aldi, another discount grocer that is coincidentally also a German company. Like Aldi, Lidl is known for low prices and much smaller stores than at most supermarkets.

In other business, Commissioners tabled a $1.3 million contract for the exterior renovation of the Archibald Johnston mansion at Housenick Park. Bracy Contracting was the sole bidder, and its price is nearly twice the $675,000-750,000. This may be because many items were added during the bidding process, like alterations to the elevator shaft and removal of lead-based paint. But rejecting the bid would certainly delay the project and might actually add to the cost.

Work on this mansion has been paid from grants and a $2 million trust fund established by Janet Housenick, Archibald Johnston's granddaughter. Trustees Bill Leeson, Steve Baratta and Tim Brady advised Commissioners in writing that they want to see the exterior stabilization project started by September. "We reserve the right to review and change the annual contribution amounts if the exterior stabilization project is not commenced in earnest and on a continuous basis before September."

Trustee Bill Leeson, who is also Bethlehem's City Solicitor, was in the audience. He made no comments, and left after Commissioners decided to table their decision.

Commissioner Pat Breslin was absent, meaning that a decision on re-bidding this project would have to be made by four Commissioners. They opted to wait two weeks instead.

In an effort to be more transparent and enable the public to see the same documents they are reviewing, Commissioners approved a $21,600 expenditure to Entertainment Services Group so that several screens can be set up in the meeting room. "It's about time!" said Howard Kutzler. Malissa Davis added she was pleased to see this enhancement after sitting fir five years in the audience,often with little idea what was being discussed.

Finally, Commissioner heard a brief presentation from T and M's Greg Duncan. He was hired as the Township's stormwater engineer a year ago. He was He was charged with analyzing the existing system, creating a Stormwater Improvement Plan, developing a Stormwater Operation and Maintenance Plan and identifying funding mechanisms to pay for the work.

Duncan appears be nearing the completion ofhis analysis,and will be reporting monthly.


Anonymous said...

Re: Lidl,
It would be unusual for the Wilson site (Across the street from Aldi @ 25th & Freemansburg) and the BT site to both go through. The two are less than 3 miles apart, and along the same road. Nothing like competing with yourself.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't Breslin resign? I'd rather him focus on his newspaper the Twp Observer as the paper is as close to Scotts toilet paper and lately, I've had to go #2 twice each day since Trump has been in office.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully the parking lot will be better planned than the one with shoprite, total disaster.

Anonymous said...

Only a few more months until (likely non-resident) Breslin is out. As for his "newspaper", my dog won't even crap on it. He says it's redundant.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. The parking lot leaves a lot to be desired. However, that design is the trend, and God forbid something not be trendy.

Bernie O'Hare said...

7:01, Numerous grocers do that.

Anonymous said...

Some grocers do it, but it's not common. Giant, for example, has 2 stores a few miles apart on 191 (one in BT, one in LNT, not to mention one on Easton Ave. in BT). As a result, the BT 191 store is no longer open 24 hours. Not enough business for 3 24 hour stores. Regardless, a Lidl across the street from an Aldi will result in only one winner in the long run.

PippySqueek said...

Would be nice if someone would move into the old Bottom Dollar in Fountain Hill.

PippySqueek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Lidl purposely locates adjacent to Aldi stores. Entirely different concepts in shopping. Stores are reduced in size. Offer only their own brand names. No national brands or coupons. If you don't find it at Aldi, then you go to Lidl and vice versa. We Americans are not use to buying goods that way. One major benefit. They are extraordinarily cheap. One Aldi cashier told me that it was hard to spend sixty dollars in their store. She was right. You get quality food cheap.

Anonymous said...

Thought Greg Duncan quit T&M after the pay to play guilty plea

sezary said...

"Today, there are over 10,000 stores in Europe. This includes the United States. "

Europe is not in the United States. Just in case anyone needed that clarification.

sezary said...

Sorry, The United States is not in Europe. I hope the misinformation didn't confuse anyone.

Anonymous said...

I do get it. It's similar to the Kmart/Walmart thing. Look how many Walmarts were built across the street from a Kmart.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"The United States is not in Europe. I hope the misinformation didn't confuse anyone."

You got me, Jeff. Fake news! I am clarifying my post.