H-E-B’s South Austin store at South Congress Avenue and East Oltorf Street — the grocery chain’s oldest store in Austin — finally has a date with the wrecking ball.
Demolition of the old 69,000-square-foot store is scheduled to start in February, and H-E-B will set up a temporary store at the nearby Twin Oaks Shopping Center, the company says. The temporary location will open one week before construction begins on the new store, totaling more than 145,000 square feet. The current store opened in 1957 with just 25,000 square feet of space.
H-E-B estimates the project will take about two years to complete, meaning the company’s new store at South Congress and East Oltorf wouldn’t open until 2024.
In March 2020, H-E-B postponed the project, which was announced in May 2019. Now, the demolition and construction schedule is back on track.
“Our vision has always been to create a store that our customers will be proud of, an iconic location that reflects the personality and vibrancy of the South Congress community,” Cathy Harm, H-E-B’s group vice president for Central Texas, says in a news release. “This store is an important part of this neighborhood, and we hope this new design conveys the deep gratitude we have for our loyal customers who have supported our business for more than 60 years.”
H-E-B previously said the replacement store would measure 130,000 square feet. Now, the size is pegged at more than 145,000 square feet. The three-level store will feature shopping and dining, as well as more than 600 above-ground parking spaces.
A highlight of the new store will be a True Texas BBQ joint. In 2019, Texas Monthly named H-E-B’s True Texas BBQ the state’s best barbecue chain. The store will offer indoor and outdoor seating for dining and an outdoor stage for live performances.
Other amenities at the new store will include:
- Displays of local art.
- Curbside and home-delivery services.
- Full-service, drive-thru pharmacy.
- Onsite bakery.
- Expanded beer and wine offerings.
- Sushi made in-store daily
“While the company continues to put the finishing touches on the store’s look and feel, there are several additional amenities that will provide a dynamic, entertaining, and innovative shopping experience that H-E-B’s deserving South Congress customers will be proud of for decades to come,” according to the news release.
When H-E-B initially announced plans for a new store at 2400 S. Congress Ave., the San Antonio-based company said a food hall and beer garden would be part of the project. However, those two elements weren’t mentioned in H-E-B’s December 2 update about the store.
“H-E-B remains deeply committed to bringing South Congress customers an iconic store that will offer a world-class shopping experience, and we will continue to provide additional updates as they develop,” the company says.