Lidl terminates Austintown property purchase
Property owners of a proposed site for a new Lidl grocery store location in the township were notified earlier this month the company is terminating its contract for property purchase.
“The zoning office has been working closely with Lidl’s engineers for replat of those properties,” Trustee Jim Davis said Thursday. “We thought this was moving forward.”
Atty. Brian Ridder, who represents a property owner in the purchase contract, said “termination of the purchase was not legally justified under the contract.”
Ridder said the parties were near an approval date at the time of termination, which was Nov. 7, and representatives from Lidl made a business decision to back out.
He continued, “That was a decision that should have been made under the terms of the contract months ago.”
Lidl was in the process of purchasing two plots for consolidation, one of which was the site of the former Pink Elephant bar, 6135 Mahoning Ave., which closed after 50 years of business during Lidl’s and the property owners’ business negotiations.
According to 21 WFMJ-TV, The Vindicator’s broadcast partner, Lidl had originally planned for three area locations – Austintown, Howland and Hermitage, Pa.
Howland Township officials say, as far as they know, Lidl still wants to build in the township.
“Lidl has turned plans into the planning and zoning department. They are reviewing the plans along with our engineer. We are in communication as far as approving those plans,” Darlene St. George, township administrator, told the television station.
St. George says construction should begin in the spring on state Route 46, across from the Home Depot.
As far as Hermitage, plans for a Lidl location along Pa. Route 18, across from the Walmart, are also going ahead.
Plans have already been approved by that city’s planning commission.
Lidl did not return calls to The Vindicator, but a spokesman told 21 WFMJ-TV the company is not addressing each individual proposed location at this early stage, but it is “laser focused on opening more stores in the East Coast markets.”