After more than 60 years of serving neighborhoods surrounding South Congress and Oltorf, H-E-B now is taking steps to make major improvements to its longest-standing grocery store in Austin, Texas. The grocer says it will go from being one of the oldest stores in the city to one of the most innovative stores in the entire company.
The H-E-B located at 2400 South Congress Avenue originally opened in 1957 at 25,000 s.f., and 65 years after first opening its doors, the grocer says it will reopen in 2022 as a creative, world-class grocery store with more than 100,000 s.f. It will feature murals and art installations by local artists; a wide selection of organic foods, prepared foods and bulk items; vibrant signage and natural light throughout the store; and an “overall vibe” that reflects its South Congress location.
The store also will include innovations to make it a community gathering place with influences from across the world, like a food hall with indoor and outdoor dining spaces and H-E-B’s first-ever beer garden. It will have two levels of underground parking and a pedestrian-friendly perimeter with wide, tree-lined sidewalks to encourage walking and biking to the store.
Offerings at the new H-E-B will include the grocer’s wide variety of fresh foods and products at everyday low prices as well as a full-service pharmacy. It also will offer H-E-B Curbside and home delivery services.
“We are thrilled to share the news about our vision for this store with our neighbors. Our goal is to represent their needs and greatest wishes for their neighborhood grocery store while keeping with the personality and vibrancy of the South Congress community,” said Jeff Thomas, H-E-B SVP and GM, Central Texas Region. “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.”
Over time, the store has undergone renovations to increase its footprint to its current 69,000 s.f. This will be the first time the location will be completely rebuilt from the ground up.
The permitting and planning process is expected to run through mid- to late-2020 with the store remaining open and fully operational during that time. Once construction begins, it’s anticipated to take two years to complete.
H-E-B already is putting detailed plans in place to open a temporary store at the adjacent Twin Oaks Shopping Center to serve customers through construction.
“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,” said Leslie Sweet, H-E-B director of public affairs. “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.”