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Pa.-based franchisee buys land next to Bear Lidl

Katie Tabeling

Land was sold to the Summerwood Corporation for $2.1 million. The Summerwood Corporation is a fast-food franchisee that has plans to build a Taco Bell at that site. | DBT PHOTO BY KATIE TABELING

BEAR — Land next to the northern Delaware Lidl was recently acquired by a Pennsylvania-based franchisee looking to add another Taco Bell to its portfolio.

The Summerwood Corporation bought less than an acre of land adjacent to the Lidl on U.S. Route 40 for $2.1 million on March 15. Plans are already filed with New Castle County to build a Taco Bell on the site which shows a 2,722 square-foot building with a 315 square-foot outdoor setting area.

The Summerwood Corporation, based in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania is a franchise holder of popular quick-serve restaurants Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut and Long John Silver’s. Since 1980, the company has operated those four brands in six states. Those markets notably include Philadelphia, Baltimore, southern New Jersey and northern Delaware.

Summerwood Corporation General Counsel Bob Nasuti told the Delaware Business Times there was no time frame yet on when the Taco Bell would be open. However, when it is open, it could bring about 35 employees to the franchise, though it would depend on sales.

“The site is on a busy road, in front of a Lidl and across from a shopping center, which makes it attractive for a drive thru,” Nastui added.

Summerwood Corporation owns at least one other Taco Bell on 379 Chestnut Hill Plaza Drive in Newark, which is slated for demolition and rebuild.

The seller was Lidl, a German grocer that has long had its eyes set on an American expansion. The discount grocery chain has 12,000 stores in 32 countries with more than 360,000 employees. In 2017, it first launched its stores in the United States, with its first stores in Virginia and other mid-Atlantic cities. The plan then was to open 100 stores by the end of summer 2018.

To date, it has 177 American stores, including spots in Dover and Middletown. Close to a dozen stores were closed in underperforming locations last year, according to trade publication Grocery Business.

Lidl finished construction on its Bear location in June 2022, but stormwater management issues needed to be resolved first. New Castle County officials told DBT it had no update on when the Lidl would open.

A Lidl US spokesperson did not comment on the property sale, but noted they were excited to “open the Lidl store on Pulaski Highway soon.”


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