A massive store that will include a food hall and H-E-B’s first-ever beer garden will replace the grocer’s iconic 62-year-old location at South Congress Avenue and East Oltorf Street.
The new store will span more than 100,000 square feet, making it bigger than Whole Foods Market’s flagship store on North Lamar Boulevard, and will replace H-E-B’s oldest location in Austin. The original store measured just 25,000 square feet when it opened in 1957, but has since grown to 69,000 square feet. A typical H-E-B comprises 70,000 to 80,000 square feet.
Aside from the food hall (with indoor and outdoor seating) and the beer garden, the new South Congress store will feature two levels of underground parking, and murals and art installations by local artists.
The old store will be torn down to make way for the new one. Construction is set to start sometime in 2020, with the opening planned for 2022.
“We still have a year of planning ahead of us before we begin construction, and we’re excited to use that time to listen to community members and gain their valuable feedback on how the new store can best serve them,” Jeff Thomas, senior vice president and Central Texas regional manager at H-E-B, says in a May 28 release.
The store at 2400 S. Congress Ave. — one of H-E-B’s busiest locations in Austin — will remain open during the permitting and planning process, which is expected to last until mid- to late 2020. During construction, a temporary store will open at the neighboring Twin Oaks Shopping Center. H-E-B bought the shopping center, at 2315 S. Congress Ave., in 2016.
“We have spent years exploring options for how to address the needs of this community as it continues to grow while ensuring we could maintain the everyday low prices and outstanding customer service our shoppers expect,” says Leslie Sweet, director of public affairs at San Antonio-based H-E-B. “We have a long, exciting road ahead of us, and our customers know we take the greatest care in planning and implementing any changes in our stores. This new store and its construction will be no exception.”