Approval of the hot topic of Lidl city center on the agenda of the city council of February 15

It looks like the desire for a grocery store in a food desert may outweigh concerns about parking and downtown development when Greensboro City Council meets on Tuesday, Feb. 15.

The item on the agenda for City Council approval is the sale by the Greensboro Redevelopment Commission of approximately 3 acres at the southwest corner of Gate City Boulevard and South Elm Street to Lidl US Operations.

According to the sales contract, Lidl would have up to five years to begin construction of a 25,000 to 36,000 square foot grocery store and a parking lot with at least 100 spaces on this site.

General Council member Marikay Abuzuaiter said, “I am for and I want to start by saying that I certainly hope it doesn’t take five years. »

She said: ‘I realize that ideally we would have preferred to have apartments, but the majority of emails and texts I received said we really needed this grocery store.

Abuzuaiter said, “There are a lot of pros and cons, but it would really help people around here who are in a food desert.”

She said: “Right now I feel like the votes are in to approve it, but you never know. I’m interested to see what Andy [Zimmerman] has to say.

Downtown developer Andy Zimmerman of AZ Development, which owns the Gateway Building across Gate City Boulevard from the site, said: “I’m not against Lidl, but a self-contained grocery store and on-street parking. surface are not what is needed in this area.”

Zimmerman said the site should have more intense development that would include a grocery store as well as other retail, residential and parking developments that would help address parking issues in the area.

Eric Robert, who has announced he is a candidate for mayor and owner of The Mill to the south of the site, is a strong supporter of Lidl’s development plan.

The city has been working on developing this property for years, which is further complicated by the fact that due to past uses it is a brownfield site.

Jessica C. Bell