H-E-B has plans for multiple projects in South Austin that will bring more than 1,000 new jobs to the area and total roughly $200 million in investment. To support the growth and increased density across South Austin, this substantial investment includes the opening of three new stores as well as a major remodel of an existing location.
“This level of investment has been years in the making, and we are incredibly excited to deliver fresh, new stores to this growing community,” said Jeff Thomas, H-E-B Senior Vice President and General Manager, Central Texas Region. “Next year, we will showcase an unprecedented investment in new stores across the greater Austin area, especially in South Austin where our customers will soon be receiving the best and most advanced shopping experience H-E-B has to offer. In addition to advancing innovative online services for time savings like H-E-B Curbside and Home Delivery, H-E-B continues to invest heavily in our in-store shopping experience to offer the best selection and services in both avenues.”
While some South Austin projects are still in planning stages, others are already under construction and set to open soon. The new 130,000-square-foot Slaughter Lane and I-35 H-E-B will include a full-service pharmacy with drive-thru, H-E-B Curbside and Home Delivery services, and a family-friendly True Texas BBQ restaurant with a drive-thru, a bar with beer and wine selections and outdoor seating with play area for kids. It’s scheduled to open on March 27, 2020.
A few miles up the road, the Riverside H-E-B plus! is undergoing a major remodel that will add more than 7,000 square feet to the footprint and increase the store’s ready-to-eat offerings with larger sushi and Meal Simple departments. To handle growing demand, the retailer increased the size of the store’s H-E-B Curbside to one of the largest in the company. The store’s renovations are set for completion in early 2020.
With extensive investment already underway across South Austin, H-E-B will close one of its smaller stores at South 1st and William Cannon Dr. Leased by H-E-B since 1994, the aging store needs significant utility and facility repairs and does not have many of the departments and services customers expect such as pharmacy, Meal Simple and H-E-B Curbside. At 31,000 square feet, the store, which is one of three on William Cannon Dr., is one mile from the I-35 and William Cannon H-E-B. The location is expected to close on April 2, 2020 after the new H-E-B opens at the northwest corner of I-35 and Slaughter Lane, which is roughly 2.5 miles away.
All South 1st and William Cannon H-E-B Partners will be offered positions and support to area stores. H-E-B will provide free Capital Metro bus passes to customers in need of transportation assistance. Additionally, during the transition, H-E-B will offer free H-E-B Curbside and Home Delivery services for neighbors in the 78745 area code through March and April.
In 2020, H-E-B also will see the start of work on two other world-class stores. Scheduled to start in January, the retailer will begin construction on a new store that will replace an existing location less than two miles away in the Oak Hill community. To be located on more than 30 acres H-E-B owns at the southeast corner of U.S. Highway 290 and FM 1826, the 90,000-square-foot store is expected to open in late 2020.
On South Congress, H-E-B will begin work next year to turn the city’s oldest location into one of the company’s most innovative stores. It will include new features to make it a community gathering place, with influences from across the world, like an eclectic food hall with indoor and outdoor dining spaces, and H-E-B’s first-ever beer garden. Two levels of underground parking will ensure the store has a welcoming, pedestrian-friendly perimeter with wide, tree-lined sidewalks to encourage walking and biking to the store. With a two-year construction schedule, the store is expected to open sometime in 2022.
As the project develops, H-E-B plans to open a temporary store across the street at the Twin Oaks Shopping Center on February 26. On March 22, H-E-B will close the existing store at 2400 S. Congress to move forward on work for the multi-story, 130,000-square-foot store. To support this transition, H-E-B will offer free H-E-B Curbside and Home Delivery service for customers in zip codes 78701 and 78704 in March and April.
“Part of their advantage is being so Texas-identified in a way that customers really relate to,” Jon Springer, executive editor of Winsight Grocery Business, an industry trade publication, told the Austin American-Statesman. “It’s one thing to be a local guy. But with H-E-B, it’s not just a slogan, it’s really the way they do business. For shoppers, that matters and that very much sets them apart.” (See full Statesman story here.)
Both new and renovated stores will offer world-class shopping experiences and customers will find all the signature features and conveniences they expect from H-E-B, with many new and expanded product selections. The design of these stores will incorporate the look and feel of the surrounding neighborhoods and will host many conservation elements such as rainwater harvesting, water retention ponds, environmentally-friendly refrigeration, and solar panel installation, as the retailer maintains large solar installations across 23 of its Austin-area stores with good success.
With over 50 stores in Austin and the surrounding area, H-E-B has several stores that have undergone or are undergoing renovation such as the East 7th Street H-E-B and there are plans for new locations such as H-E-B Lake Austin on Exposition and Lake Austin Blvds., which is expected to open in 2021.