— San Marcos Mercury (@themercurynews) July 27, 2016
More in the Mercury: San Marcos P&Z approves H-E-B plans for new Wonder World store 07/27/16
by BRAD ROLLINS
8:17 p.m. SUNDAY, JULY 24: San Antonio-based HEB Grocery Co. is seeking zoning changes to allow construction of a third San Marcos store at the northwestern corner of high-traffic Hunter Road and Wonder World Drive.
Under a planned development agreement scheduled for consideration by zoning commissioners this week, the company would be entitled to build a 60,000-square-foot store on 6.4 acres near the city’s thriving South End mixed-use district anchored by the Hays County Government Center. The property is also within a mile of relatively affluent residential neighborhoods such as Willow Creek and Hunters Hill and within about three miles of a potential 5,600 new homes in the forthcoming La Cima and Kissing Tree developments.
H-E-B would “relish the opportunity to build on that site,” spokesperson Leslie Sweet told the San Marcos Mercury.
But it is premature, she said, to say when construction might begin, assuming the company wins city hall approval. In 2013, the company bought about 17 acres for a potential new store in Stratford Land Co.’s proposed McCarty Commons development at the southeast corner of Interstate 35 and McCarty Lane, also in south San Marcos.
“We have to build long-range plans because land that is no longer on the market is no longer available as a potential option as we reassess growth. …[But] at this time we have not made a commitment to build at either property,” Sweet said.
The new Hunter Road store would be about twice as large as the 31,000-square-foot “Little H-E-B” at 200 W. Hopkins Street and about two-thirds the size of the 87,873-square-foot “Big H-E-B” at 641 E. Hopkins Street. Under the proposed development agreement, H-E-B would agree to keep its tiny downtown store in operation through at least the nine years remaining on its current lease.
Executives envision a store comparable in size and selection to the 46,000-square-foot Wimberley H-E-B, which opened in September 2015, Sweet said.
“We need it. San Marcos continues to grow and we want to continue to serve San Marcos… We think this would be a good option for the growing community that is coming from the southern side of San Marcos. We have two very successful stores in the north and central San Marcos and this would provide shoppers with an option closer to home,” Sweet said.
City planning staff recommends approval of H-E-B’s zoning change request — from placeholder “future development” zoning to a pared down version of “general commercial” zoning — contingent on the city council also approving a parallel request for a necessary land use map amendment to the citywide development master plan. The council is scheduled to consider that “preferred growth scenario” amendment at its Aug. 2 meeting.
Members of the city council and the planning and zoning commission will be briefed on the company’s development plans during a rare joint meeting of the two panels at noon Monday, July 25 at the San Marcos Activity Center. Zoning commissioners will hold a public hearing on H-E-B’s proposal during its regular meeting the following evening, July 26.
New H-E-B project location maps | 07/26/16 [pdf]
New H-E-B proposed planned development agreement | 07/26/16 [pdf]Email | Print