The contract for Lidl to purchase the site at South Elm Street and East Gate City Boulevard has been terminated, but the situation is a bit more complicated than that indicates.

According to the terms of the contract, Lidl had to have completed its inspection of the redevelopment site by July 20, and on July 20, when that inspection was not complete, the law firm representing Lidl sent a letter to the City of Greensboro and the Redevelopment Commission of Greensboro stating, “Purchaser hereby timely exercises its right to terminate the Agreement pursuant to Section 3(e) thereof.”

The letter also states, “all Earnest Money shall be immediately returned to Purchaser in accordance with the terms of the Agreement.”  The earnest money according to an email to city councilmembers was $30,000.

An email from City Manager Tai Jaiyeoba to the mayor and city councilmembers on July 19 notes that the end of the inspection period for Lidl is July 20 and states, “During this inspection period they have uncovered significant additional environmental and site concerns that need to be remediated. Lidl may not be able to have an agreement with the NC Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) for another 18 months to 3 years.”

The email also states that there are two main points that the City Council should be aware of in this situation.

Jaiyeoba lists those points as:

“ – Due to these unforeseen environmental issues uncovered by further site testing, LIDL is unable to close on Nov. 20 as we previously thought.

“ – The issues involved are not specific to Lidl, but are related to the condition of residual soil gas on the property and will need to be addressed by any developer no matter who or the land use proposed.”

Mayor Nancy Vaughan noted that the termination of the contract didn’t mean that Lidl was not going to build a grocery store on the site, but that the project would at best be delayed until the current standards set by DEQ could be met.

She said, “The fact is that we don’t have a contract with them right now. They didn’t meet the inspection requirement even with the 30-day extension.”