Rendering of proposed LIDL grocery store Credit: Rendering submitted to Albemarle Co.

The development of a new Lidl grocery store on U.S. 250 on Pantops took another step forward Tuesday.

The Albemarle Architectural Review Board granted a certificate of appropriateness for the project despite initial concerns that the original submission was too modern and did not reflect the county’s architectural heritage.

“This was our third review,” said Stan Binstead, the vice chair of the ARB. “In the two previous reviews we reconciled the form and architecture of the building with traditional and other existing buildings along the entrance corridor.”

Lidl is a European company that has over 10,000 stores in 28 countries but did not enter the U.S. market until this year with several stores opening up in North Carolina and Virginia. In 2015 the company opened headquarters in Arlington and has been building a distribution network.

A spokesman for Lidl said there is no specific timeline for when the Albemarle location would open.

“To date we have opened 24 stores with 13 more opening this month,” said William Harwood. The goal is to open 100 stores in the U.S. by the end of next summer.

The project needs design approval from the county because it is on one of the county’s 21 entrance corridors.

The project was last before the ARB in December for a work session.

Changes made since then include a reduction in parking spaces, the addition of more trees in the parking area and the relocation of a driveway.

New ARB member Frank Hancock had to recuse himself from the Lidl discussion because he is working on the project’s landscaping plan.

ARB members Frank Stoner and Bruce Wardell were not present at the meeting.

The two remaining members of the ARB approved a certificate of appropriateness for the project, though some details will need further review by staff.

The underlying land was rezoned in December 2013.

The ARB also reviewed a new Comfort Inn & Suites Hotel in Hollymead Town Center, a new location on Berkmar Drive for Volvo Cars of Charlottesville and Riverside Village off of Route 20 on Pantops.

The 86-room Comfort Inn would be three stories tall and would be immediately north of the Target.

The ARB voted to approve the hotel project with conditions such as changes to the landscaping, alterations to the outdoor lighting and the addition of more windows in the building.

Two preliminary discussions were also held Tuesday.

Only a small part of the land for the Volvo dealership on Berkmar Drive is within the ARB’s jurisdiction because it is visible from Rio Road West. The project will return at a future date.

Riverside Village is a mixed-use development that would feature commercial uses on the ground floor with residential space on the upper floors.

Several dozen townhomes have already been constructed at the site but attention has now turned to what is known as “Block 1.”

“Our attempt here is to get a preliminary discussion going on the massing and scale,” said Fred Wolf, an architect working on the project under development by Stony Point Design/Build.

ARB members generally favored the layout for this phase of the project which includes a courtyard.  

“I think it’s a lovely proposal,” said ARB member Drake van der Werf.

The Riverside Village proposal will also return to the ARB for a certificate of appropriateness at a later date.