New dis­tri­bu­tion cen­ter com­ing to Cecil

Lidl project to bring 100 jobs

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By CHERYL MATTIX

cmat­tix@ce­cil­whig.com

— Cecil County is learn­ing to ap­pre­ci­ate the Deutsche af­ter of­fi­cials an­nounced that Lidl, a Ger­man su­per­mar­ket re­tailer, will be­gin work on a ma­jor dis­tri­bu­tion cen­ter here.

The com­pany picked up a build­ing per­mit Tues­day morn­ing to con­struct a 754,000-square-foot re­gional dis­tri­bu­tion cen­ter on a

PERRYVILLE

100-acre site in Prin­ci­pio Busi­ness Park off Route 40 near Perryville.

County Di­rec­tor of Per­mits and In­spec­tions Pa­trick Con­way shared the news with the Cecil County Coun­cil dur­ing their Tues­day morn­ing work ses­sion, re­port­ing that the build­ing per­mit fee was $188,000.

Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Robert Hodge voiced his sup­port for the an­nounce­ment, along with the rest of the coun­cil and County Ex­ec­u­tive Tari Moore.

“Cecil County is pleased to wel­come very Lidl to our com­mu­nity,” Moore said Tues­day.

Moore said that County Di­rec­tor of Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Lisa Webb and her team have been work­ing with lead­er­ship from Lidl for quite some time.

“We’ve had an op­por­tu­nity to build a strong re­la­tion­ship with them,” Moore added.

The es­ti­mated cost for the project is more than $100 mil­lion and the com­pany plans to hire more than 100

full-time em­ploy­ees over the next three years, sources said.

“We are very ex­cited about ad­ding an in­ter­na­tional com­pany to our county,” said Webb, not­ing that the com­pany hopes to open the dis­tri­bu­tion cen­ter some­time in 2017. “It’s a fast-track project, so we’ll be work­ing with them through the process.”

Mean­while, the com­pany is also seek­ing fi­nal ap­proval to build a re­tail store on Route 40 in Elk­ton that would be ser­viced by the dis­tri­bu­tion cen­ter in Prin­ci­pio.

Elk­ton’s Plan­ning Com­mis­sion is con­sid­er­ing Lidl’s plans for a 36,170-square-foot re­tail gro­cery store west of the Delaware Av­enue and Route 40 traf­fic sig­nal. That plan is up for ap­proval on the town’s June 6 plan­ning com­mis­sion agenda.

Elkon Plan­ning Di­rec­tor Jeanne Min­ner said Mon­day that, if ap­proved June 6, the Ger­man gro­cery chain can be­gin grad­ing on a Route 40 par­cel of land at 622 E. Pu­laski High­way be­tween Happy 40 Dis­count Liquors and Tim’s Tire Sales. The project has al­ready re­quired Mary­land State High­way Ad­min­is­tra­tion ap­proval for a new en­trance road and a stormwa­ter man­age­ment plan, in ad­di­tion to the build­ing and park­ing lot de­sign de­tails.

Lidl, which started as a neigh­bor­hood gro­cery store in Ger­many in the 1930s, has ex­panded to nearly 10,000 stores in 26 coun­tries from Ire­land to Greece, em­ploy­ing a to­tal of 230,000 peo­ple.

The no-frills gro­cery re­tailer has ex­panded into car­ry­ing some house­hold items, cloth­ing and sea­sonal items and is of­ten com­pared with Aldi, another Ger­man nofrills re­tailer al­ready es­tab­lished on Route 40 in Elk­ton at Ch­e­sa­peake Boule­vard.

Last year, the com­pany an­nounced plans to ex­pand into the United States, first tar­get­ing the East Coast. Lidl’s web­site in­di­cates its plans in­clude open­ing about 100 new stores on the East Coast by 2018, re­fer­ring to it­self as a “game changer in the U.S.”

Susque­hanna Work­force Net­work Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Bruce Eng­land said Tues­day his or­ga­ni­za­tion is poised to as­sist Lidl with se­cur­ing their work­force needs.

CECIL WHIG FILE PHOTO

The prospec­tive site of a new Lidl ger­man gro­cery store, pend­ing fi­nal ap­proval from the Elk­ton Plan­ning Com­mis­sion on June 6, is off Route 40 in Elk­ton.

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