San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas


More in the Mercury: San Marcos P&Z approves H-E-B plans for new Wonder World store 07/27/16



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 summary for San Marcos Planning and Zoning Commission | 07/26/16 [pdf]

New H-E-B city staff analysis for San Marcos Planning and Zoning Commission | 07/26/16 [pdf]

New H-E-B project location maps | 07/26/16 [pdf]

New H-E-B proposed planned development agreement | 07/26/16 [pdf]

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14 thoughts on “H-E-B seeks approval for third San Marcos store

  1. The original Mcarty Lane proposal was very appealing! This one will decimate green space, jeopardize the aquifer, make pedestrian and bike crossing even more dangerous (saw someone struck there before) to the trails and we’d be rolling the dice with flooding given how Purgatory Creek roared with the last rains. Worth pausing.

  2. This is the worst possible location!! This will create unwelcome traffic in an area already experiencing a growth boom with the Kissing Tree subdivision. This will cause the beautiful Purgatory open space to look too commercialized. KEEP HEB EAST OF I35!!

  3. As others have stated, thats a really sensitive environmental area. And traffic is already a nightmare at I-35 and wonderworld with La Cima and Amazon centers already on the way….

  4. We are the fastest growing community in the US, yet have the equivalent of 1.5 grocery stores (not including WM). The store that was supposed to go up at McCarty, never happened; this one probably won’t, either. HEB will build yet another store in New Braunfels, instead.

  5. I run and bike through that intersection, and there is too much traffic in that location already, Plus it’s an environmentally sensitive area. Keep greenspace, green. The McCarty & IH 35 location is a much better option. I agree, we are in desperate need of another store.

  6. This is not a good location for a mid-sized HEB. San Marcos needs a full sized grocery store in a more accessible location. Didn’t the city & HEB learn from the location on Hopkins that traffic flow needs to be considered? Hope they will actually build on E. McCarty.

  7. McCarty makes much more sense: it’s outside of the primary recharge zone, won’t require the felling of hundreds of trees, and will keep traffic in the Purgatory area from reaching critical mass. All that said — I would much prefer a Central Market store than another cookie-cutter HEB. Something to appeal to shoppers not just looking for frozen pizzas and beer.

  8. Why only HEB’s? I mean, HEB is OK, but why no real competition from other food marketers? Just curious.

  9. Worrisome to me is traffic and also close-by Purgatory Creek taking oil, gasoline and asphalt runoff from impervious parking lots. If HEB can creatively engineer solutions to those two problems, it seems workable. There may be more problems. That area of town could use a grocery store for the growth that seems to be converging there. I hope they would also keep as many of the native trees as possible. Someone is going to build SOMETHING there eventually and HEB is a pretty good civic citizen, all-in-all.

  10. While growth is continuously moving southward, is a mid size store the answer? there will be 1500 employees at Amazon, the outlet mall is ranked as one of the largest tourist attractions and a top employer in smtx. both of these attractions will ‘side car’ the original location that was proposed. IH35 and McCarty. i do feel that the current site location choice of ww and hunter will become another too small store for the area it is designed to serve. we already have a store that cannot fully serve its customers in the west hopkins location.

    what is the proposal for traffic coming from craddock, the bridge cannot be altered, do you get a turn lane? will their be access from both roads, wonder world and hunter? i assume a turn lane will be necessary for access from both directions on both roads. this will add to the already congested area. the location seems too small and so close to a major traffic signal, it seems that there are better locations that would eliminate some of the issues this location creates. a large store is needed and a better location is needed, but as a citizen i cannot make that choice. i therefore ask that our council do the job they have been tasked with and make smart decisions and keep smtx in mind when designing one of the fastest growing cities in the state. a super store on mccarty.

  11. Unecessary-we need more green space or at least more variety for that sacrifice like a spot for local businesses that are being ran out of the downtown square area

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