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HEB Begins Construction of New Store in Southwest Austin


HEB has begun construction of a new 103,000 square foot store on the former site of the Nutty Brown Amphitheater in southwest Austin.

The San Antonio-based grocery chain bought the property at Country Road 163 and Highway 290 in 2005. It plans to open the new store in the spring of 2023.

The Nutty Brown Amphitheater, which served as a concert hall for more than two decades, closed in November. Owner Mike Farr moved the concert hall to a site in Round Rock as the Round Rock Amp.

The new HEB will incorporate Nutty Brown memorabilia throughout the store, including red brick from the original brick oven used at Nutty Brown Foods, which was a flour mill and candy store.

It will also include guitars signed by Texas musicians who once graced the venue’s stage. A wall near the store’s entrance will feature a mural with vintage photographs and pay homage to Nutty Brown’s original signage, such as its blue “Welcome” awning and neon cowboy sign.

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The store is designed to blend into the fabric of the surrounding communities of Bear Creek, Cedar Valley and Dripping Springs, with an exterior that will reflect the Hill Country aesthetic, said Cathy Harm, HEB Group Vice President for Downtown. Texas.

Two entrance towers and a large section of windows above the checkout area will provide natural light, and native trees will be added to the landscape.

“At HEB, we work hard to adapt our stores to create a unique experience for our neighbors and customers, Harm said. “We are proud to be part of this community, and it’s important to us that we do our part to preserve and showcase the heritage and history of such an iconic monument.”

The new store, which will employ approximately 300 people, will include curbside and door-to-door delivery, a pharmacy with drive-thru, a bakery and tortilleria, a wine and beer department with sampling stations and a gas station and car wash.

HEB, based in San Antonio, has been operating in Austin for over 80 years and has long been the area’s dominant grocer. Industry analysts estimate the company controls about 60% of the grocery market in Austin, a rarity in US cities, where Walmart typically dominates sales.

The company has risen to the challenge of national chains and e-commerce giant Amazon with competitive pricing and staying connected to customers in a way that goes far beyond most retailers, according to industry analysts.

“Part of their advantage is being so identified with Texas in a way that customers really relate to,” Jon Springer, editor of industry trade publication Winsight Grocery Business, previously told The Statesman. . “It’s one thing to be a local guy. But with HEB, it’s not just a slogan, it’s really their way of doing business. For buyers, this is important and it sets them apart a lot.

Continued:HEB demolition and reconstruction of the South Congress store will begin in early 2022

Construction has begun on a 103,000 square foot store in southwest Austin at the former location of the Nutty Brown Amphitheater.  Provided by HEB

Expansion into the Austin market

HEB is in the process of expanding its operations in the Austin market. This year the company began demolishing and rebuilding the HEB store at South Congress Avenue and Oltorf Street. The store at 2400 S. Congress Ave. opened in 1957 on 25,000 square feet.

HEB opened a temporary store at the adjacent Twin Oaks Mall during construction. The grocer estimated that the new, three-level, 145,000 square foot store would take another two years to complete.

Meanwhile, HEB has a store under construction on Lake Austin that replaces an old Randalls location. The Lake Austin HEB will include a cafe, pharmacy and True Texas BBQ.

The grocer opened a store in Slaughter Lane and South Congress Avenue in 2020, and it has also opened stores in the Oak Hill neighborhood and in Leander.

HEB’s growth in Central Texas comes as Kroger Co., which has no stores in Austin, announced it would break into the local market with a new e-commerce delivery service.

Continued:Two Austin malls with major anchors sell for $189.3 million

Kroger, which is the nation’s largest grocery retailer, said it will build a 70,000 square foot facility in northeast Austin that will begin operations this year. The site is expected to employ about 160 people, Kroger said.

HEB invested heavily in the grocery delivery space after buying Austin-based delivery service Favor in 2018. Today, Favor has a network of tens of thousands of runners delivering restaurant meals, groceries and other shopping around the clock.

Austin-based Whole Foods Market also offers delivery services through its parent company Amazon.