Lidl plan nixed for Wilmington, lawsuit alleges

Lidl plan nixed for Wilmington, lawsuit alleges
German-based grocer Lidl filed plans to open a Wilmington store in late 2015. (Source: WECT)

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A real estate investment company out of Texas is suing the grocery chain Lidl for failing to complete deals to build stores in Wilmington as well as two other locations in North Carolina.

Lidl, a discount grocer out of Germany, announced plans to enter the Wilmington market in late 2015 with a store on Eastwood Road. Shortly after, the company indicated it would build a store on 17th Street.

As early as this year, both projects were still listed in the planning stages with the City of Wilmington.

In a federal lawsuit filed late last week, it was alleged that Lidl terminated its agreement with Leon Capital Group to build the store on 17th Street in November 2017. According to the lawsuit, Lidl asked Leon Capital Group to acquire a tract of land for that store as well as locations in Cary and Charlotte.

Leon Capital Group worked to clear the land, add paved roads and prepare it for expansion, which would include two other tracts of property. According to the suit, Lidl committed to paying up to $475,000 for the project. After numerous exchanges, the suit alleges Lidl terminated the deal on Nov. 3 last year.

"The lack of an anchor Lidl grocery store will significantly and negatively impact rents and/or sales prices for the retail and commercial spaces in the Wilmington development," the lawsuit reads.

Leon Capital Group is seeking relief with the money it has spent on the project, along with punitive damages.

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