New Food Lion store proposed in China Grove

Published 12:05 am Friday, March 11, 2016

CHINA GROVE — Another Food Lion store could be coming to southern Rowan County.

The China Grove Planning Board on Thursday approved a permit and site plan for a Food Lion at the north end of the town on U.S. Highway 29. Site plans show the store located where North Main Street splits off of U.S. Highway 29, near Linn-Honeycutt Funeral home. The new store would be 35,035 square feet.

Construction on the store, however, could still be months away. The China Grove Town Board would still need to approve a permit. Widening of I-85 and other planned road construction may also conflict with entrances to the store’s parking lot.

Food Lion stores in China Grove are already located near the China Grove-Landis border and near the intersection of U.S. 29 and East Centerview Street.

The proposed store’s owners include G and M Investments of Charlotte and JNDY Properties of Salisbury. Primax Property of Charlotte is also listed on applications filed with the Rowan County Planning Department.

Many of the questions raised about the store during Thursday’s planning board meeting were traffic concerns. One question was whether cars would turn directly off of the U.S. Highway 29 to enter the proposed Food Lion’s parking lot or whether a right turn lane would be added to help traffic slow down. The question, however, went unanswered. With construction planned in the area in connection to I-85’s widening, uncertainty exists about how U.S. Highway 29 might look in the future.

Town Planner Franklin Gover said Department of Transportation staff would likely require a “slow-down lane” near the Food Lion.

Gover also raised several concerns about whether the proposed Food Lion’s building plan would comply with China Grove’s technical rules and codes. The concerns included whether the proposed store would be built with enough windows, if the store’s loading dock could be located on the side rather than the rear and if enough shrubs were included in the site plan.

Developers present at Monday’s meeting said shrubs could easily be added to site plans. Train tracks located at the back of the proposed store prevented a loading dock from being located at the rear.

Ultimately, the planning board didn’t require any significant changes to the Food Lion’s site plan.

At the earliest, the proposed Food Lion could get final approval during the China Grove Town Board’s meeting on April 5.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.