H-E-B Considering Multi-Story Replacement for Bellaire Market

H-E-B Nogalitos Market, 1601 Nogalitos St., San Antonio, Texas

H-E-B Bellaire Market, 5130 Cedar St., Bellaire, TexasThe new 70,000-sq.-ft. grocery store H-E-B is hoping to build to replace its current location near the intersection of Bissonnet St. and S. Rice Ave. in Bellaire (pictured in the bottom photo) may fit most of its parking space underneath the store. Speaking to Bellaire residents at a meeting earlier this week, officials from the company described an option that would require demolition of the entire shopping center at 5100 Cedar St. — including the existing 20,000-sq.-ft. H-E-B store and all adjacent stores. In its place would go up a 70,000-sq.-ft. store with parking underneath and in front. All shopping would be on the second floor.

To help describe the concept, officials showed images of the company’s store on Nogalitos St. in San Antonio (pictured in the top photo), which opened last month. That store, which is only 62,000 sq. ft., features a first-floor parking garage and a “travelator” (similar to one of the escalators installed to connect the garage to the entrance of the new Post Oak Blvd. Whole Foods Market) to move shoppers and their carts between levels. (The low structure in front of the building is a preserved section of the façade of the previous store on that site.)


The planned square footage would make the new Bellaire store slightly larger than the company’s Buffalo Market 3 miles to the northeast on Bissonnet at Buffalo Speedway. But H-E-B officials tell Swamplot it is also looking at other sites in Bellaire for a new store, and has not made a final decision about the location.

Photos: Michelle Juarez (Nogalitos store); Wayne A. (Bellaire store)

Upper Level Groceries

40 Comment

  • H-E-B — Please do this to your store at 18th and TC Jester. I like that more and more Central Market items are being carried, but we need a bigger store.

    Um, this won’t involve shutting down that Jimmy Johns and Thai Cottage, will it? If so I’m still for it, just want to make sure those get relocated somewhere close by.

  • “an option that would require demolition of the entire shopping center at 5100 Cedar St. — including the existing 20,000-sq.-ft. H-E-B store and all adjacent stores.”

    It sounds like they would destroy Hong Kong Chef, one of the last old school Americanized Chinese chop seuy joints.

  • I hope that the location at So. Braeswood and Chimney Rock is on HEB’s radar: Bumpiest linoleum I have ever experienced.

  • Yes, we NEED a new HEB in the Heights. No one I know goes to the one on 18th & TC Jester. I’m so sick of the Kroger on 11th being lackadaisical as they’re the only relevant option in the Heights (Wal-Mart on Yale doesn’t count). Go on a Sunday and forget anything being stocked sufficiently. Even Garden Oaks/Oak Forest doesn’t have one. We’re forced to drive 15 min. each way to the super-busy ones on Bunker Hill and in Montrose. Please help!

  • We need a HEB period in Oak Forest, the closest one is the pantry the above folks mentioned and that’s just tiny. Otherwise one has to drive to Bunker Hill and I10, what a glaring oversight by HEB..

  • HEB is overly conservative with their strategy for the Houston Market. It’s kind of a no brainer for them to open pretty ambitious stores, maybe even a CM, in the Heights, GOOF, Washington, and Midtown, at least.

  • I like stores with parking underneath (read: covered parking). The only time I go to midtown Randall’s is when it’s pouring, because we can stay dry. And no hot car after either would be a nice plus.

  • You’ve got to have some high demand levels to justify the land costs in these areas though. I’d imagine that with Kroger pretty well entrenched before the building booms they had missed out on the good time to move in. I’d say it’ll take another boom cycle to fill in enough demand for them to justify a store in the heights/goof area.

  • I HEARTILY second the recommendation to reconsider their storefront at Braeswood and Chimney Rock. Alternatively, I hope this new Bellaire store won’t make it obsolete…

  • I can assure you, HEB will not open a CM in The Heights, get real. This concept has worked well in SA in that one location, I look for it to be the go to design for places like The Heights. I think The Heights is definitely on HEB’s radar, not for a CM, but for a store like the one shown above.

  • Hard to argue that the heights needs another grocery store over EaDo.

  • That plan would wipe out about a dozen adjacent shops — several of which are mom-and-pop variety, which would be a shame. They could have had the Kroger location at Gulfton and Chimney Rock a few years ago, but that’s more “Bellaire adjacent.”

  • Finish knocking down Westbury Square and build an HEB there. On another note HEB should have beat Wally world do the punch and build next to Micro Center on S Rice near Westpark

  • I think that HEB should build a super-duper-mega-store right near my home, but not within earshot, and they shouldn’t change the neighborhood, and trees shouldn’t be cut down or I’ll cry relentlessly into my pillow at night and comment on blogs during the day; ideally the store should come equipped with a holographic projection system that depicts the facades of stores that were popular no fewer than 50 years ago — because a superficial and idealized appreciation of history makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Everybody acknowledges that I desperately require a big store. My present options preclude the possibility that I can purchase a $30 wedge of cheese and this causes me tremendous anxiety. I am very important and clearly that is universally acknowledged. HEB had the opportunity to anticipate my recent arrival in this neighborhood some number of years ago by developing a different site and it is a shame that they did not act upon their powers of precognition. Now it will be more expensive for them to accommodate me, which I am sure that they will in the near future.

  • If they are going to tear down the entire shopping strip why would they need to have a 2 story building?
    Yes Bellaire needs a bigger more equipped store, we live in bellaire and always have to drive to the bigger HEB’s either Buffalo speedway or the newest one on San Felipe

  • Beautiful concept! I hope they do it, it would serve the area well and be more reflective of the higher end neighborhood

  • Westbury square needs to go. the home depot screwed up any revitalization that could have happened there.

    HEB needs to replace either Kroger or Randals at S Post Oak and Bellfort. The food o rama could go too. you’d get all the westbury, myerland, and willowbend shoppers as well as all the people heading south to burbs on S Main.

  • Yes, yes, yes. HEB needs to do anything that Matthew says that they need to do. They simply must. He is very important. Very. Important.

  • @TheNiche
    Hilarious. I always wonder if the Heights entitlement is something you arrive with or that grows with you there. I also find it difficult that so many people do not know the difference between I WANT and HEB NEEDS.

  • Considering how expensive the land is on San Felipe at Fountain View, I’m surprised they didn’t do this configuration there. That parking lot is enormous.

  • Hands off Hong Kong Chef!

  • Great to hear that HEB is overhauling their Bellaire store. It really needs it, as this was one of the original HEB Pantry stores from the early 90’s. It was lackluster compared to most HEB stores in Houston. The store didn’t originally did not have a deli, evident by the tiny deli shoehorned into a odd corner. Hopefully HEB will may will significantly more parking than their Buffalo Market.

  • #TheNiche – Thank you! Laughed out loud and am still chuckling.

  • May this be the first of many overhauls of HEB’s original Pantry stores. I hope they tackle the one on South Braeswood and Chimney Rock next. That place is in dire need of renovations.

  • I think what’s left of Westbury Square is too small for a modern grocery store. The grocery stores you folks want are f-ing huge.
    Please don’t replace the Kroget at S Post Oak and W Bellfort. That’s the best Kroger in the world.
    The Randall’s across the street can go to hell for all I care.
    What’s wrong with Food-o-rama? That’s nostalgia central. They sell food I thought was discontinued decades ago. Reminds me of my grandparents.
    I mostly agree with TheNiche on this topic. When I was a kid we survived with one Safeway and one Eagle in our neighborhood. Both of them combined would still be dwarfed by a full sized HEB, but somehow we struggled through. Today we just go to three or four different grocery stores every week because we’re spoiled rich people who have to have just the right strawberries, just the right coffee, just the right bread, and a new HEB isn’t going to change that unless they build it on top of a Whole Foods and a Kroger. And maybe Belden’s.

  • HEB is going to have their needs met one way or another – they’re not stupid. They’re not going to just randomly decide to build a store somewhere just because someone in some online forum wants it. So I wouldn’t worry yourself about that, Niche.
    Like Joe V’s. It was never some radical and altruistic thing to help the poor. HEB just wanted in on the low-end of the grocery market. They wanted to compete with Food Town and Fiesta without downgrading the HEB brand. You can tell by the fact that Joe V’s stores were located in neighborhoods that already had Fiestas or Food Towns.
    Anyway I digress. I do hope Thai Cottage and Jimmy Johns can find new locations nearby when they replace the Bellaire HEB. That’s all I’m really concerned about here.

  • Matthew/Memebag — Foodarama needs to stay right where it is. =) It’s a perfectly serviceable neighborhood grocery store, and has a lot of walk-up traffic. I’m in there several times of week for quick trips on staple goods when I don’t want to trek down to the Kroger, which is also a terrific and easily navigable store. I find the newer/bigger Krogers are a maze to shop in. No opinion on the Randalls — I think there was chatter here years ago before the theater went/Kohls was built that it was on the ropes, but that never came to pass. *Full disclosure that HEB has never been my thing. Once applied for a corporate job and was amused that they required a multi-page personality/psych test. Made me wonder if everyone working in their stores had to do the same.

  • I guess I’m a spoiled rich kid, according to Memebag. I judge a grocery store on the availability of whole bean coffee. Though truth be told, all the food in our fridge came from either Super Target of Trader Joe’s.
    I wasn’t always like this. Before I got married I did most of my shopping at Foodarama. Cool name, “Foodarama,”. If they put those near colleges and boosted the beer selection they’d probably make a killing. And the stores are pretty cool, too. They have this “we don’t care how the store looks and how old the display cases are, but we keep it clean and we have good prices” kind of approach. Eventually I moved up to Belden’s. Then I got married.
    Anyway I digress again.

  • Kroger is a decent store and has become so popular it now causes one to drive around looking for a place to park.The reason is Randall’s is not the store it was many years ago .While I have shopped at HEB it is a bit over rated. I rarely go to the one on Braes it is just too small.The new one I will go to like Central Market just once in a while for something special like bread and coffee . I spend so much at Krogers I got a 500 point bonus for the gas pumps and I am sure with gas prices climbing my buck stops at Krogers lol.

  • Its about time. We need a nice upscale grocery store in Bellaire.

  • You should do what I want. I am very important, I’m on the internet after all…

  • @ZAW: Kroger’s has whole bean coffee, but my tastes are far too refined for that. I must have What’s Brewing’s Ethiopian Harrar beans, and they must be fresh. Nothing else compares, and without them there’s not much point in getting out of bed.

  • When I moved into The Heights, the Kroger on N Shepherd and 11th was just starting its expansion/remodel. I wondered why HEB wasn’t doing the same. Weren’t they going to lose business. Now I realize, it didn’t really matter, we will all mostly go to the store that it convenient to us. Even if HEB had expanded, it would still be closer for me to go to Kroger.

  • HEB needs to keep their unfriendly corporate crap back in San Antonio

  • Why do people feel the need for a huge grocery store? Don’t you people want to get in and out and not be forced in a different direction in a store. I for 1 don’t like Grocery store drama. I shop the Foodarama on S. Post Oak and Willowbend often and I can tell you that from the past to the present they have really updated the store to cater to customers needs without raising prices like HEB does to pay for these new stores. The owner is a super nice older gentlemen that you can see interacting with the customers on a daily basis. That is what I call get personable. The employees seem to be very friendly and helpful. Never a bad experience within this store and I have been shopping there for 25 years. It really says something about the company when you have been in the business since the early 70’s and still moving along with all locations. Sorry big box grocery shoppers, I don’t see the hype about these type of stores.

  • @ZAW: That Foodarama in Meyerland by HBU actually does have a really big beer selection now. I think it’s bigger than most HEB’s and Krogers. And that one runs their own specials so St. Arnold and Karbach are $6.99 like every other week. I’m with Steven; I hate those giant stores. It takes like 2 hours to get through them and by the end I’m just angry.

  • I really don’t want to see anything happen to Thai Cottage or the other stores in that strip at Bellaire/Bissonnet. I third the vote to refresh the HEB at Braeswood and Chimney Rock. That store has been in dire need of an overhaul for many years, and Meyerland/Westbury is really picking up these days. For those of you who don’t remember, we had a HEB Pantry in Westbury Square (where the 99 cents only is currently located) which closed about 15 years ago. It was even more pathetic than HEB at Braeswood and Chimney Rock.

  • We would enjoy it if HEB was to open a store in Sharpstown near us. Our neighbors shop at your stores often.

  • After the Memorial Day flooding of Braes Bayou, the HEB on Chimney Rock closed. I hear it won’t reopen until October. The assumption is that HEB will use this as an opportunity to remodel. Finally!!