H-E-B has announced plans to undertake a ground-up rebuild of its South Congress store in Austin, Texas, saying the project would transform one of the oldest stores in the city to one of H-E-B’s most innovative.
The store, at 2400 S. Congress Ave., originally opened in 1957. It is expected to close for renovations next year and reopen as “a creative, world-class grocery store” in 2022, according to the San Antonio-based retailer. H-E-B will serve community residents from a temporary store at the adjacent Twin Oaks Shopping Center when construction begins late next year.
“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,” Jeff Thomas, SVP and general manager of H-E-B's Central Texas Region, said in a statement. “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.”
The original store, around 25,000 square feet, has been renovated over the years to its current 69,000 square feet. The rebuild will take the store to more than 100,000 square feet. Renderings show a dramatic transformation for the intersection, which currently features a low slung store set behind surface parking.
The retailer said customers can expect to see 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 iconic South Congress location.
The store will also include new features and innovations to make it a community gathering place, including an eclectic food hall with indoor and outdoor dining spaces and H-E-B’s first beer garden. Two levels of underground parking will ensure the store has a welcoming, pedestrian-friendly perimeter with wide, tree-lined sidewalks to encourage walking and biking to the store. The new store will also reopen with the increasingly popular H-E-B Curbside and Home Delivery services.
“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’s 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.”