- H-E-B is making a $200 million investment across multiple projects in South Austin, Texas, including the opening of three new stores, according to a press release.
- The investment will generate 1,000 new jobs and support the growth and increased population density throughout South Austin.
- A remodel of an H-E-B plus! and construction of a new 130,000-square-foot-store are already underway. The remaining projects are still in the planning stages.
Set to open in March 2020, the H-E-B location currently under construction will feature a full-scale pharmacy with a drive-thru, curbside and home delivery service and a True Texas BBQ restaurant. A bar will serve beer and wine, while an outdoor seating area will include a play area for kids.
The remodeled H-E-B plus! will gain 7,000 square feet to house more ready-to-eat operations like sushi and the grocer's Meal Simple departments. The store’s curbside pickup area will become one of the largest at any H-E-B location.
In January, H-E-B will start construction on two "world-class stores,", the company said, including an overhaul of its oldest store on South Congress. The rebuild will turn the location into one of the company's most innovative stores, with a beer garden, food hall, indoor and outdoor dining. Both new stores will be designed to reflect the surrounding neighborhoods and include conservation-minded elements like solar panels, rainwater harvesting, and environmentally friendly refrigeration.
As part of the investment plan, H-E-B is closing one of its smaller, more outdated Austin stores and offering employees positions with the company elsewhere.
Austin’s population is booming and the city is a top destination for migrating talent, according to the Austin Chamber of Commerce, making it prime real estate for a brand expansion.
"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, in a statement.
Across Texas, H-E-B has made strides in both its store-level experiences and digital offerings in recent months. It opened a multilevel store with "all the bells and whistles" in Houston earlier this year. The company also established its first digital headquarters in East Austin and announced plans for a second tech hub over the summer.