To hear some Kerrville residents talk about the plans for the H-E-B store on Main Street, there is a whole slew of possibilities or problems ahead of the planned construction of the new store.
First off, you’re reading that right — a new store.
The H-E-B store currently located facing Main Street will be torn down after the replacement store is constructed in the coming months. That new store, as approved by the city of Kerrville, will be sited on the same property but facing west and toward Francisco Lemos Street.
“This is kind of a work in progress,’’ Kerrville City Manager Mark McDaniel said recently.
All of the logistics of managing traffic, parking and construction at one of the city’s busiest businesses and streets is still being figured out.
“They are very actively working to see how they will phase this in,” McDaniel said of H-E-B’s planning.
However, there are some who are under the impression that the current store will be a renovation or expansion, or that H-E-B is tearing down a historic store and they are tearing down historic buildings and trees.
“This is not an expansion,” H-E-B public affairs manager Julie Bedingfield confirmed. “It is a new store.”
Just how big the store will be, what amenities it will offer and when it will actually break ground are to be determined, but if there’s one thing that’s clear: The existing store will not be there much longer.
“We’ve done this in other places before,” Bedingfield said of building a replacement before tearing down the old store.
While H-E-B’s roots begin in Kerrville in 1905, when Florence Butt opened her grocery store in her front room, the current store is certainly not historic.
There is a historic marker designating the foundation of Texas’ largest regional grocery chain, but little remains of the company’s origins here other than the story and the Butt’s family contributions to the community.
“We are excited to bring a new store to Kerrville that will allow us to continue to serve the growing needs of our customers and provide the community with the best that H-E-B has to offer,” Bedingfield said.
In order to get this project through, the city of Kerrville and H-E-B reached agreement on closing Hays Street between Main and Jefferson streets. The new store lot line will back up against Cowboy Steakhouse and The Kerrville Daily Times. The company has already purchased neighboring buildings and has begun removing them. The current employee parking lot will be relocated.
The new front entrance to the store will be located approximately where the current store’s curbside pickup and drive-thru pharmacy is located.
Needless to say, parking will be a bit of a challenge. That will be especially true when the new store opens, and while the old store is torn down, which will make way for additional parking.
Bedingfield said the store will be a regular concept store, and not an H-E-B Plus, which are found in larger metropolitan areas.
However, the company may have offered a sneak peek at things to come with a drawing of a new 120,000-square-foot store in Lubbock. That store has many of the same features offered in Kerrville with one exception — True Texas BBQ, an H-E-B owned restaurant that has earned raves from Texas Monthly and other publications.
Bedingfield wouldn’t comment on the specifics, but promised more details would emerge in the weeks to come.