BELLAIRE, Texas – (By Michelle Leigh Smith) – H-E-B plans to close their Bellaire store on March 13 and demolish it to make way for the San Antonio-based grocer’s first two-story food emporium in the Houston area.
Using the two-story format could allow H-E-B to penetrate Houston’s upscale urban submarkets where development sites are scarce and land is expensive.
“Construction will begin March 17, 2017,” says Cyndy Garza Roberts, H-E-B spokesperson.
The site is in the City of Bellaire near Bissonnet Street at Cedar, just west of South Rice Avenue. The new two-story store, expected to be about 70,000-SF, will open in late in 2017, she says. It will have 82 second-story parking spaces, a pharmacy, bakery and a floral department.
“The Bellaire store is not the only store we are building,” Garza Roberts says. “It will certainly open in 2017, but it will be in the fall of 2017. We do not have a definite date.”
Four new H-E-B stores have been added in Houston in the last year, in Kingwood, Clear Lake, in the Aliana master planned community off the Grand Parkway and in Magnolia.
The City of Bellaire held a public hearing at the Bellaire Civic Center in August of 2016 for residents who wanted to understand how the new H-E-B two-story grocery store with upper-level shopping would work. H-E-B operates a few multi-level stores in Mexico and it recently opened a multi-level store at 1610 Nogalitos St. in San Antonio.
Last summer H-E-B announced plans to build the store on 3.055 acres. An adjoining strip center was purchased and the tenants in that strip have relocated, clearing the way for demolition.
“They plan to build to the lot line,” says Bellaire Development Services Director John McDonald.
Ramp access to the second will be at the northeast corner of the new H-E-B complex.
Plans call for metal awnings, metal screens precast concrete and masonry will accessorize the red, black and beige complex. There is a 50-ft. elevation facing Rice Avenue, as well as a large H-E-B sign with white letters against a red background, surrounded by glazing. The second level parking deck will have 82 parking places. Ground level parking provides for 230 spaces, plus five on the street for a total of 312 spaces. The city’s parking requirement for the new store is 297 spaces based on 5 per 1000, so the total of 317 exceeds the requirement. The design accommodates a sales floor of 52,833 SF, an administrative mezzanine of 2,319 SF, a pharmacy of 2,098 SF and food prep areas of 2,064 SF.
An application with an expanded building size and reconfigured docks was submitted by Lyle Henkel, P.E., President of Terra Associates, Inc., the consulting engineers on the project. Missing in the new design are the trees, landscaping along Bissonnet and greenspace promised at the early City Hall meeting by H-E-B Senior Due Diligence Manager John Rose, who has built many new grocery stores as well as some Pappas restaurants across the Lone Star State.
A tree disposition plan has now been submitted to the Development Services department in Bellaire, which is an independent municipality near the West Loop.
“H-E-B continues to tell us they are close to being on their original schedule,” says Bellaire City Manager Paul Hofmann. This means demolition will be underway shortly.
Feb. 6, 2017 Realty News Report Copyright 2017