D.C.’s first Lidl grocery store opens in Southeast, D.C. on Wednesday. Mayor Muriel Bowser and District officials celebrated its soft opening with a ribbon cutting on Tuesday.
The grocery store has been in the works for a decade and is located at the Skyland Town Center. It will join three other full-service grocery stores in the area as well as bring fresh food options and jobs to Wards 7 and 8.
“When you talk to the community, they know how long they've had to fight to make sure this store was here, but also affordable housing and then the town center with food options that really rival any other neighborhood in D.C.,” Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio said.
The Skyland Town Center has been in the works for decades since Tony Williams was the D.C. mayor. A Walmart was supposed to anchor this location but backed out six years ago.
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Now, the new grocery store will employee around 90 people. The store’s manager Malashia Mitchell said 65 of the employees are from Wards 7 and 8.
“I’m more than just a manager, I’m like a mother to all of them, this is my store, it’s a reflection of me,” Mitchell said.
The grocery store marks the beginning of more development coming to the Skyland Town Center. The center has a Chase Bank and will soon have a drive-thru Starbucks, a smoothie shop and a pizza place. An affordable housing unit with townhomes will break ground at the center in the next one to two years.
“Today’s Lidl grand opening is a great gain for Ward 7 as we continue to address persistent food deserts on the East End and further improve the lives of Ward 7 and District residents,” Ward 7 Councilmember Vincent C. Gray said in a statement.
Lidle is opening two more stores in Columbia Heights and Tenleytown in Northwest, D.C.
The new Lidl will open on Wednesday at 8 a.m. The first 100 people will get gift cards up to $100.