Germany's Lidl reveals plans for 1st Pa. store in Muhlenberg

MUHLENBERG TWP., Pa. - Berks County residents may soon have a new place to buy groceries.

Representatives from the Lidl grocery store chain presented preliminary sketch plans at Muhlenberg Township’s planning commission meeting Wednesday night.

The proposed location includes several parcels along the Fifth Street Highway near Water Street and next to Town Square Plaza. The property is currently occupied by Manderbach Ford. 

Lidl’s plan is to demolish the existing building and build a 36,000-square-foot store on about four acres.

Lauren Vickers, real estate development manager for Lidl, said the company does not have an estimated timeline.

Lidl was founded in Germany in 1973 and has more than 10,000 stores in 27 countries. According to Vickers, it is the fourth-largest retailer in the world. Approximately 90 percent of its products are private label, and Lidl stores carry a large selection of organic food.

There are currently no Lidl stores in Pennsylvania. The closest open Lidl store is in Delaware, and it has the approval to build a store in the Lehigh Valley.

In other business, the commissioners reviewed sketch plans for three other proposed projects.

Representatives for Newman Development Business Center presented plans for a 23,000-square-foot shopping center on a 3.5-acre lot on the Fifth Street Highway, near Elnore Avenue. The facility would include two restaurants, two retail spaces, and a bank.

Thomas Ludgate, from Ludgate Engineering, provided plans for the construction of a transition building for Met-Ed on a property known as the Hartman Farm, located next to Met-Ed’s existing office space at 2800 Pottsville Pike (Route 61).

Ludgate said Met-Ed would demolish the existing structures and build "what is essentially a garage" to house the utility's trucks used for transmission repairs, as well as a parking lot. Met-Ed is planning to build the 33,000-square-foot structure as soon as possible.

Jamal Abodalo, Muhlenberg's engineering and codes director, showed plans for a 5,000-square-foot BB professional office building. The proposed location is about one acre on the Fifth Street Highway near Tuckerton Road, which is also currently Manderbach Ford's property.

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