More than a year ago Lidl — a German discount grocer — started looking at sites in Beaufort County to open one of its first locations in the United States.
In June 2017, Lidl (pronounced lee-dil) opened its first stores in the country, but none of those were in Beaufort County.
That same month, Charles Yowell, a project manager with Bohler Engineering, a company contracted by Lidl, said the grocer was still interested in building at Sea Turtle Marketplace on Hilton Head Island.
However last month, Lidl withdrew its application with the Hilton Head Island Design Review Board for construction of the Hilton Head site. It had also withdrawn an application for the same site in December.
Charles Cousins, director of community development for the Town of Hilton Head, said last week that the company is taking time to research the site further.
“Corporate is supposed to come and look at the site, along with other locations,” he said.
The other locations could include other sites on the island and in Bluffton, Cousins said.
The town of Bluffton received a preliminary development plan from Lidl in June 2016 for a location on Buckwalter Towne Boulevard.
Lidl hasn’t moved ahead with any plans in Bluffton since its first made contact in 2016, Heather Colin, growth management director for Bluffton, said Tuesday.
Plans for a Lidl in Beaufort have advanced further than any of the other proposed locations.
Building permits have been submitted for a Lidl at the corner of Parris Island Gateway and Robert Smalls Parkway, Lauren Kelly, who is with Beaufort’s planning department, said Tuesday.
She said approval is “nearly approved” and that the city is waiting on approvals from the South Carolina Department of Transportation, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and South Carolina Ocean & Coastal Resource Management, among other state agencies.
Lidl declined to comment about specific locations when asked last week.
“We are looking at a number of sites in the state, however we are not addressing each individual one at this time,” Jessica Haggard, a Lidl spokeswoman, said. “We do make store announcements regularly and we look forward to continuing to open more stores in South Carolina.”
Lidl currently has stores in Spartanburg and Greenville.