COVER: An artists rendering of the new H-E-B in Wimberley, scheduled for completion next summer. SUBMITTED ILLUSTRATION.
FROM STAFF REPORTS
WIMBERLEY — City and corporate officials officially broke ground Thursday on a 46,000-square-foot H-E-B store with pledges to find local suppliers for fruits, vegetables and “artisan foods.”
After squeaking through the planning and zoning commission in December without one vote to spare, the Wimberley City Council voted in January to grant the San Antonio grocers’ request for a planned development district on eight acres where generations of residents attended the Bowen Intermediate School, property previously zoned for public and institutional uses. The project’s scores of opponents included council member Steve Thurber, whose lone vote against the store bolstered his successful mayoral campaign, a race he won handily in May.
At last week’s ceremony, H-E-B officials unveiled what they said was a Hill Country-inspired custom design that uses native stone and wood and building material salvaged from the old school, said Leslie Sweet, H-E-B’s chief spokesperson. The site plan and building design incorporates works from local artists and provides ample space for expanded offerings of fresh and gourmet foods, Sweet said.
Measures were even taken to preserve Bowen Intermediate’s old jungle gym, which will be relocated to an outdoor patio area and adorned with artwork from Wimberley ISD students.