German grocer Lidl signs on at Northwood Commons

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A rendering of Lidl at Northwood Commons. Courtesy: MCB Real Estate, LLC.

Lidl, a German grocery store chain looking to expand in the U.S., has signed a lease with the Northwood Commons project near Morgan State University, developer MCB Real Estate, LLC, announced today.

The grocer will occupy approximately 30,000 square feet of space at the $50 million overhaul of the Northwood Plaza Shopping Center. McDonald’s, WingStop, Fulton Bank, a Barnes & Noble campus bookstore and Morgan State University public safety department will all occupy space in the new development, and popular carry-out Sunny’s Subs is staying on in the new iteration.

“We are excited that the Development Team has attracted a supermarket of the caliber of Lidl to anchor Northwood Commons,” Morgan State University President Dr. David Wilson said in a statement. “The Morgan State University community has been yearning for decades for a place nearby to shop for fresh food, and now we finally have one.”

The project, a partnership between MCB Real Estate, LLC, MLR Partners, LLC, and the shopping center’s current owners, is slated to open in 2022. Once finished, it will have more than 100,000 square feet of retail space.

While Lidl has 10,800 stores and is active in 32 countries, it is still relatively new to Maryland. Earlier this year the company announced the opening of seven stores in the state, including two in Baltimore County. In August, the company opened a regional headquarters and distribution center in Perryville, hiring more than 200 people.

Last year Food & Wine named Lidl one of the 10 best supermarkets in the U.S. thanks to its low prices and private-label brands, similar to Trader Joe’s and another German entrant into the U.S. grocery market, Aldi.

As The Sun reported in October, the developers of Northwood Commons needed a zoning change to begin razing the shopping center to build its replacement. The previous planned unit development designation, or PUD, for the site included zoning for residential, but the new developers have no intention of adding apartments or living space.

“There’s no need to have a PUD when you don’t need a PUD,” City Councilman Ryan Dorsey, who sponsored legislation for the change, told the paper. “Without the repeal of this PUD, they would not be allowed to get a permit to develop a single-story development.”

Dorsey tweeted today that demolition at the site is scheduled to begin in February.

Brandon Weigel

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