H-E-B Will Double Down on a Heights Dry Zone Store or Not Build At All

H-E-B WILL DOUBLE DOWN ON A HEIGHTS DRY ZONE STORE OR NOT BUILD AT ALL 2-story H-E-B proposed at 5106 Bissonnet St., Bellaire, TX 77401The H-E-B proposed for the former N. Shepherd Fiesta site at W. 24th St. would be another 2-story store, Houston H-E-B president Scott McClelland tells Jack Witthaus. The grocery chain is backing the Houston Heights Beverage Coalition’s dry-zone dampening campaign and showed up for the press conference last week on the now-cleared 4-ish-acre site. The company has already been planning its first double-decker Houston location (rendered above) on the 3-acre site of the existing H-E-B in Bellaire; plans for that development show about 75,000 sq. ft. of store stacked on top of an all-parking ground level. McClelland tells Witthaus that the proposed H-E-B in the dry area of the Heights would be about 80,000 sq. ft. and come with a 2018 expected completion date, but that H-E-B won’t build in the zone at all if the upcoming election doesn’t go their way. [Houston Business Journal; previously on Swamplot] Rendering of proposed 2-story H-E-B in Bellaire: Terra Associates

64 Comment

  • “Dry zones” = Ridiculous

  • I really liked the Yes signs that say, in bold letters up top:

  • I had heard HEB is also building at either Washington & Studemont or Washington & Shepherd. Any news on that? Also, are there any plans to upgrade the HEB on 18th & Ella?

  • I realize this is a business decision on HEB’s part, but it sure sounds like Scott McClelland is saying he will take his toys and go home if the other children don’t play the game he wants to play.

  • How about building another Central Market? How come they have 5 Central Markets in DFW but only 1 in Houston? Do they think we’re a bunch of uncultured dimwits?

  • In one way, at least there is some candor instead of the usual PR-speak (i.e. “if it does not pass, we will reassess our position” etc.). But the timing of the announcement is clearly intended to turn it into a referendum on HEB rather than putting 40s in CVS (yeah, I did it again!!! Hopefully, no one will ever hear my hot mike clips from my interview with Billy Bush).

  • agreed, J-squared …. it’s a form of corporate blackmail. People shouldn’t bow to this threat, and should HEB carry it out they should boycott the chain. If HEB didn’t think they could make a profit under the no-alcohol rule in place they shouldn’t have purchased the land in the first place.

  • I don’t know why anyone would vote against this. Except for my mom. She’s Mormon and doesn’t think anyone should drink.

  • Just so I have this straight…. F*** HEB’s potential customers in the Heights if they won’t allow us (HEB) to build a store that will allow us to sell alcohol products, one of 1000,000 other products we well, because those two items, beer and wine, is where we make a lot, alot of money ?

    I don’t drink so have little to no dog in this fight, but that Corporate, profit oriented mindset is what is turning me off to their argument. ‘We don’t care what you want, we care about what WE want.’

    FU, HEB. Go build on Washington and whatever.

  • @J-squared, no, he’s being a good business leader who must answer to his employees for their own well-being and futures. Grocery stores are a very well-known and notoriously low margin industry. It’s more like Scott saying “In areas with very high land prices & startup costs we can’t compete with other land utilization concepts without being able to have access to higher margin sales.”
    As much as the entire city has had to listen to all the Heights/Goofers constantly complaining about lack of high end grocery stores…well, the balls in your court now. Do something so we can all stop listening to the whining. Otherwise, stop complaining about choosing to live in low density areas with high land cost.

  • It’s their business, their investment, their money. No one is holding a gun to either ones head. If the prop passes, they come – if not, they don’t. This is how they choose to do business. Go boycott them if it makes you feel better about yourself.

  • Perhaps we only have one Central Market as opposed to 5 in DFW because here in Houston we’d rather have regular grocery stores rather than overpriced social-status virtue signaling. Besides, that’s what Whole Foods is for.
    Not sure I understand the hate here either. Yes, alcohol is a high profit margin item. But you’re blaming HEB for this, when in reality you should be wondering why exactly it is you have to buy your booze filtered through several layers of state-approved distribution channels with markups at every step. It’s a perfectly sound and logical business decision to say you’re not going to put millions of dollars of capital into a project if it means forgoing an existing sales channel, and “HEB-backed coalition” or not, this local residents finally getting fed up with antiquated, holier-than-thou arbitrary lines on a map. Being interested in attracting businesses to a neighborhood in order to increase the social cachet or property values is also a profit oriented mindset, but somehow because it’s a person instead of a corporation, it’s apparently somehow less evil.

  • I asked a few folks working at the Fiesta liquor store what they thought of the announcement and they were extremely resentful. Their perspective was that Fiesta had been begging to be able to sell beer and wine but were never given the chance and now the rules are being changed. I’m not saying that their perspective is correct as I’m not aware of what efforts Fiesta made in that regard but it was a much different reaction than mine.

    As for the ‘dry’ zone, the moment we can get rid of that and other antiquated alcohol laws the better. Is it too much to hope that five years from now I might go out to eat and tell an out of town visitor about how once upon a time I had to ‘join a club’ in order to purchase my frou-frou artisanal cocktail at the fifteenth Treadsack concept to open in the area?

  • How do I get an HEB sign? This is three blocks from my house. I drive 15 minutes to Montrose Market to get away from the zombie Kroger. I need my HEB.

  • The issue is not HEB!
    The issue is opening up the Heights to convenient stores on every corner that sell beer and wine. The homes are not deed restricted.
    Also unlike Woodland Heights and Norhill, there is frontage along I-10 and there are streets like White Oak, 20th, 11th, and Heights and Yale that have the potential of turning into Montrose.
    Keep the Heights quirky. Keep it about family. Keep it dry.

  • Noe I will definitely Italy vote against this proposition. HEB sucks!

  • @Darby Mom: There is an HEB proposed for the redevelopment of the Grocer’s Supply warehouse on Studemont, north of Washington Avenue. I’m am not sure of the status of the development now, since this was announced prior to the oil economy tanking. I can tell you that the old warehouses have been leveled recently.
    Frankly, I don’t care if alcohol sales come to the Heights. We now have so many restaurants using the “private club” loophole that the regulations don’t mean that much anymore. And the world has not ended.
    However, HEB has had plenty of opportunities over the last decade to find 6+ acres of land in the area, but failed to do so. HEB has developed their Houston area stores in upscale suburban areas and decided not to build in any areas that did not have a high income demographic ( Gulfgate was built through tax incentives). So now that they figured out there’s money in them thar Heights, they are trying to grab just about the last decently sized parcel in the area, except it has a major flaw, being that’s it’s dry. So, it’s no one’s fault but their own.

  • As a resident of the dry area, I for one would like to thank Scott McClelland and HEB for funding this petition drive to finally give Heights residents a chance to bring their neighborhood part of the way in line with the rest of post 1933 America.
    Not only will I be happy to have a nice, new HEB within walking distance, but it will also be nice to grab a six pack at Sunny’s at the same time I pick up my pizza at Pink’s. And maybe Kroger will finally put some money into the 20th St store. And if people want to pick up a box of Franzia while waiting for their prescription at Walgreens, more power to ’em.
    I don’t see this as “corporate blackmail” on the part of HEB. It’s just a recognition of the reality that a store on this site that can’t sell beer and wine will struggle to compete with one 12 blocks away that can.

  • Out with all the old liberal hippies and in with the new HEB.

  • Dear HEB,

    Don’t worry about the boycotters, my friends and I will make up for it and then some. I’ve thought the dry ordinance was nonsense since I’ve moved in, just a shame it took an astroturf campaign to finally get it on the ballot If this results in more convenience stores, all the better- more walkable stores. .

  • I wouldn’t care about package sales if they’d do away w/ the private club B.S. which obviously won’t happen, so a “NO” vote it will be.

  • This will be a landslide in favor of HEB and rightfully so. The Kroger on 11th sucks (even with the “renovations”) and there’s too much money here to not get in now. There’s a liquor store just down the street and the world hasn’t stopped turning in the Heights. The liberal hippies don’t have to shop here just like they don’t at the WalMart on Yale. All will be fine.

  • I have friends who’re lifelong Irving residents. In ’08 voters overturned Irving dry laws. Friends voted to uphold them. They (along with a lot of neighbors) were initially afraid of what would happen much like a lot of Heights residents. 8yrs later they see no negative effects from that particular issue. Based on their experience I think people’s fears are overblown.

  • Apparently there are a lot of people who don’t understand the purpose of businesses, which is to turn a profit for their owners or shareholders, NOT to accommodate the general public. Is a business decision based on the opportunity. If alcohol sales are needed to meet the overall profit model, then that’s how they make there decision. Sounds like we have a bunch of liberal socialist chiming in here.

  • This comment thread with a spattering of NIMBY hypocritics (by the way the heights isn’t quirky, you’re old and white and pretend to be hip until hip gets a little too close to home and then you run crying) should end with what it started with… “Dry zones” = Ridiculous

  • As someone without a dog in this hunt, I couldn’t care less if the dry zone is repealed. But, I am amazed that an issue as availability of alcohol in such a small area raises such passions.
    If only the energies behind this issue could be channeled into fixing our roads, schools, or economy.

  • Amazing how the “liberal hippies” of the Heights have turned into the town elders from Footloose. Will we ban dancing next?

  • I will be sad if the Heights legalizes booze before it legalizes weed.

  • It’s hard for me to understand the angst and anger over this. Personally, I would love to have an HEB in the neighborhood instead of having to drive to Montrose or Bunker Hill. It’s absurd to complain about HEB doing the math and deciding it’s only worth their while to build if it can sell high-margin wine and beer. And I honestly don’t understand the argument that selling wine and beer in convenience stores will “destroy the neighborhood.” Even if you don’t like alcohol, people can drink it in about a dozen private-club restaurants and buy it a few blocks away in any direction. I live in the dry zone, but there’s a Valero six blocks away (outside the zone) that sells wine and beer. So what?? I love the improved restaurant and nightlife scene that is coming to 19th street – but even if you hate that, blocking this won’t stop the private clubs.

    Overall, I think having a direct-democracy vote on this issue is the fairest solution. Let’s see what the majority of people who live in the dry zone actually want. If you’re against it, vote no, but stop whining about how unfair it is to have it on the ballot or for HEB to present their views.

  • wow.
    so, HEB is saying that the people of the heights aren’t worth anything unless they are able to sell alcohol? this seems like bad marketing strategy…

  • @toasty: Businesses (not just HEB) aren’t saying what people are worth. They are saying what people will pay. People in the Heights won’t pay enough to sustain an HEB without beer and wine sales. It has nothing to do with their value as people.

  • The Heights is “weird” now? Is this a joke? Or something that people in the Heights try to fool themselves into believing in order to feel less like gentrifying rent-raisers? It’s difficult to imagine the building of a typical Heights McMansion as keeping it “weird” or “quirky”. On a tangent, the whole shtick with “keeping someplace weird” (Austin being the flagship) smacks of classism and at worst, racism. You’ll normally see the upwardly mobile place their priorities in being “weird”. Unfortunately, the lower and middle classes typically have more primal priorities. More unfortunately, the preservation of a 100 yearish old law to keep the poors and darkies from drinking outside of convenience stores has nothing at all to do with “keeping it weird” and you know it.

  • 4 states have legalized the recreational sale of cannabis, and we’re still over here arguing about alcohol sales…

  • Yeah, keep it weird is all over alt-right white supremacist websites. It is now Pepe the Frog’s catch phrase. Actually, how about this: Stop all the BS racism claims against the Heights as a stupid knee jerk reaction to every time an effort to preserve the character of the neighborhood runs into the ambitions of some business interest. If you had the choice between living down the street from a convenience store that sells 40s of malt liquor and one that does not sell any booze, you would pick the latter ten out of ten times and would be lying like a dog if you said you did not care if a convenience store down the street sold booze or not. HEB is probably going to land either on Waugh and Washington or in Studemont Junction. We do not need to surrender one of the very few land use controls we have in the Heights to suit the site location whims of one grocer that passed numerous times on properties outside the dry zone and will only build a giant 80k sq ft store.

  • For those of you who plan to vote no, I sincerely hope that they build an Ashby Highrise in the old Fiesta plat if the ordinance isn’t approved. Newflash – they are not going to build a mixed retail development there using a craftsman facade and have only non-chain stories that sell your favorite nuts, berries, and essential oils. You out-of-touch people are never happy with anything. And yes, I do live in the Heights. And to clarify, that’s Heights proper not Timbergrove, Shady Acres or Cottage Grove in case their is any questions around whether I am allowed to voice my opinions or not.

  • This really took off. Thanks esp. to Old School. Seems to me if HEB can build on Studemont/Washington or Shepherd/Washington, that’s plenty convenient for those who want to pick up a 6-pack of Fat Tire. The 2-story concept is both interesting and confusing, though it works well for Phoenician downtown, a whole different concept and customer market. In the Houston Chronicle editorial there was the implication that this repeal campaign was the first step in repealing the dry status altogether, which is the way a large issue such as voting rights or women’s rights gets diminished. P.S. the PAC pushing the effort should have filed a 2nd financial report today with the city secretary, Anna Russell.

  • All you NIMBYs please boycott the new HEB after it’s built. Less people in line in front of me. :)

  • @OldSchool: “If you had the choice between living down the street from a convenience store that sells 40s of malt liquor and one that does not sell any booze, you would pick the latter ten out of ten times and would be lying like a dog if you said you did not care if a convenience store down the street sold booze or not.”
    You are projecting. I’ve never even thought about the presence of convenience stores when choosing where to live, let alone if those stores sold “40s” of malt liquor. As a young man I actually purchased “40s” of malt liquor from convenience stores. I never mugged anyone in the parking lot, but I did pour a bit on the curb for homies who aren’t here.

  • Old School:
    “Keep _____ weird” is something stated by FAKE liberals who don’t want to live around poor people (usually poor minorities). There’s a price to keep something quirky and it’s usually a price that only well-to-do people can pay. It’s as simple as that. Please feel free to look up the level of racial diversity of Portland and Austin and the large number of white liberals moving to those places while the cost of living in those two cities go up. I actually live near a couple of places, a convenience store and a gas station, that sell alcohol and within a less affluent area than the Heights. Please explain what is happening to me due to their existence that I am completely unaware of! Please enlighten me. If I were you I’d be much more worried about driving home at night among the “bros” leaving their d-bag sports bars.

  • What’s the selection of malt liquor like in the Valero on Studewood? Personally, I only buy artisanal, craft malt liquor.
    OldSchool makes clear that opposition to this is about control, not about quality of life. And perhaps lingering resentment toward HEB over not buying the land that Walmart built on (which I can sympathize with, but let’s not cut off our nose to spite our face).
    The possible Washington Ave store is (a) speculative, (b) requires bulldozing a lot of apartments, and (c) isn’t all that convenient for much of the Heights, let alone GO/OF. The distance between the two stores would be a mile more than the distance between the Montrose and Buffalo Speedway stores.
    And about this being a foot-in-the-door for full repeal of the dry zone: if that were the goal, that’s what would be on the ballot. Without the (significant) proportion of voters that DO want investment in grocery stores, but DON’T want package liquor sales, once off-site beer/wine sales are legal, a full repeal vote wouldn’t have much chance of passing. And who would fund the petition drive? Specs? In fact, voting FOR may be the best way to ensure package stores and (non-private-club) bars and restaurants stay out of the Heights for decades to come.

  • “Well I woke up to get me a cold pop, and I thought somebody was barbecuein’. I said oh lawd Jesus it’s a Heights thread. Then I ran out I didn’t grab no shoes o’ nothin. I RAN fo my life! I got’s bronchitis…. AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FO DAT!”

  • @Meme, that is a laughable concern. Why hasn’t booze bungalows popped up in Woodland Heights or Norhill Heights? This is all about a group of people who decided that the Heights should remain exactly how it was when they moved in so they use scare monger tactics and falsehoods to get their way. I can’t believe no one has mentioned the flooding impact that a two story HEB might cause!

  • There is a lot of misinformation floating around. This vote is only to allow the legal sale of beer and wine for off premises consumption only. It won’t harm children, destroy parks, or do anything else scary to those of us living in the Heights. More specifically:

    1) Ellen Cohen and David Robinson have both looked at this issue carefully, and they strongly support a YES vote. They specifically cite quality of life and preservation of the neighborhood as reasons that they support the effort to allow the much needed grocery store(s) to come to the Heights.
    2) The sale of beer and wine for off premises consumption is what makes it economically viable for a grocery to operate in an area with high land value. HEB’s decisions are based on economics, not spite toward anyone.
    3) Thousands of people are moving into the Heights, and we have fewer stores today than just a year ago. No stores are going to move into the area if they cannot compete. And HEB would not be investing in this effort if they had alternatives.
    4) Many neighborhoods in DFW have had similar votes over the last few years. There are no reports of an invasion of convenience stores (and economics dictate against this happening). There is no evidence that this will happen. No parks will be torn up to build a 7-11 as some claim.
    5) Nothing about this effort is aimed at changing the law to allow bars, package stores, liquor stores, or chain restaurants. The prohibition against those businesses will remain. And nothing about this vote will make that effort at all easier.
    6) A new vote revisiting this issue would not necessarily involve a vote by the entire city.
    7) Any business selling beer and wine for off premise consumption only (what this election is about) would be subject to the same restrictions of the TABC and the City of Houston as a business in any other location in Houston. Your neighbors will not suddenly open a bar in their Heights Bungalow.
    8) Although it is weird to not have a modern grocery store in the neighborhood; the neighborhood can still be quirky with a good grocery store.

  • I am all for keeping the Heights and Shady Acres like it was 30 years ago, so please vote NO on this.

    HEB making these demands is just another sign of corporate greed and the gentrification of the Heights and Shady Acres. Next thing you know,….gasp in fear, …. a Starbucks might even show up. The final horse of the apocalypse will most certainly be upon us all then.

    As for me, I am going to walk down the street, grab me a couple cold 40 oz malt liquors, maybe a roller dog or a mystery meat taco, throw them back and then go puke all over someone’s lawn and pass out. Just like in those pre-gentrification good ol’ days.

  • @Harold in the Heights. The Norhill Historical District (North and East Norhill) does have deed restrictions. Around the year 2000 the homeowners association successfully prevented a convenience store from opening on Studewood and W. Mellwood. Not sure about Woodland Heights.

    I think if the “convenience store in a bungalow” issue were valid there would be examples in the wet area of the Heights. I am referring to the area north of White Oak where the wet line starts at Onion Creek.

  • @ Angostura

    Sweet Jesus, someone actually considered their neighbors outside the small population of “Heights Proper”. I happen to reside in GO/OF, and if you want to experience my own personal hell go to the Kroger on 43rd Sunday evening for a couple of things. Yes, I know someone is going to come on here and say we’ll if you want it so bad, why don’t you make room for it somewhere. Frankly, I would love to. I would love if HEB would take the Sears on Shepherd, but honestly from a business prospective that’s simply not going to happen. There’s not nearly enough demand, especially if Heights/Shady Acres/Lazybrook people can just go to Kroger on Shepherd. It’s simply too far north for a good investment. I realize this, and I accept it.

    I respect that the Heights wants to stay “quirky and weird” though that was probably gone ten years ago, but the people in the Heights need to consider the fact that they are not in their own little bubble inside the loop. If you want a bubble where everything is planned and perfect, no one is selling 40’s, and you won’t get any “ruffians”, then you need to move out to the suburbs where it is specifically planned. While we’re on the topic, who actually thinks “ruffians” or whatever you might call people who drink 40’s (not sure how much more classist we can get here honestly), are going to drive into the heights proper to buy a 40 from a bungalow shop?? Let’s be logical and not so NIMBY.

    I’m asking all the Heights proper people to consider neighborhoods around the potential HEB, and really think about what it might offer in the way of community. I will admit Heights proper people are putting up a lot of social capital, but they’re getting a stronger community in return. If you want evidence of that go look at what has happened to the area surrounding the HEB on West Alabama/Dunlavy. I was there when it was a Fiesta across the street, and now its a prime location. The whole area has benefited from that HEB, and it’ll do the same for this area.

    – A GO/OF resident.

  • @progg: Keep Austin Weird was adopted by a small business alliance in Austin to help promote local Austin businesses over the rapid spread of national chains as areas of Austin gentrified. Equating the slogan to racial exclusion is at best silly at worst ignorant. I could care less about whether you are ok living near a convenience store. You do not live in the dry zone. I paid a big premium to buy a house in the Heights because I valued things like historic preservation and the dry zone. I would not have bought near a convenience store had it been able to sell beer and wine.
    @Angostura: Go ahead and pretend that there is no difference between a convenience store that sells beer and one that does not. I see people drinking out of brown bags by the dumpsters over by the Valero on Shep and 16th all the time. I do not want those people boozing it up right next to Heights Blvd just so HEB can have their preferred location for a grocery store. And it is interesting that HEB won’t disclose whether they are building on Washington Ave. If they did, the need to revise the dry zone regulations would not seem like an all or nothing vote. It is also interesting that you mention GOOF. Why doesn’t HEB spruce up the W 18th store that is closest to GOOF and put in a store south of I-10? Then, they would not need to coerce the neighborhood into giving up the tiny amount of land use restrictions we have with their astroturf campaign.
    @Harold: Have you been to Norhill? It is deed restricted. And the convenience stores on N. Main are some of the nastiest ones in the Heights. A poor clerk at the one on Airline and N. Main was murdered in a robbery recently. Wooldand Heights has very room for any commercial development. Heights Blvd, Yale St., W. 11th, Shepherd, W. 19th and 20th all have lots of room for commercial redevelopment.

  • Good lord, I’ve never seen people get so worked up about convenience stores. You’d think were legions of store owners just outside the Heights, sitting on horses wielding flaming swords, cackling with glee at the opportunity to come into the neighborhood and sell booze on every corner, turning quaint “little” bungalows into cesspools of vice and bringing utter ruin to the “character” of the neighborhood.
    In the meantime, I’ll just take a stroll to the one that’s 2 blocks from my house, and pray that I don’t succumb along the way to to the forces of evil bent on destroying the quality of life in my neighborhood. I think they might even sell booze *and* cigarettes there, God help us all.

  • I always wondered where most of the Swamplot folks lived. Apparently it’s the Heights. It’s funny, this has to be the only place in Houston that *doesn’t* want a new HEB nearby. Anyways, you guys need to relax. Why not kick back and crack open a nice cold…oh man my bad…

  • Why is everyone so upset about HEB selling beer/wine at the proposed location when there is a liquor store about 3 blocks down?! All the restaurants in the area serve beer/wine/most liquor, so whats the big deal ? I would rather see a grocery store than another monster Apt complex. Im voting yes on the proposition, Keep heights dry and quirky??? What ever !

  • Did any heights residents oppose IN TOWN BREWERY ? No ? Then why oppose HEB ?
    a bunch of rubbish !

  • HEB can throw money at local.politicians and outside consultants and lawyers, none of whom actually live in the dry area. I know a con when I see one and I will join my neighbors to vote NO. And shame on Ellen Cohen. She missed the mark big time by joining a corporation to prey on our neighbors. Shame. Shame. Shame.

  • @ Gary,
    Dawg, how can you seriously be advocating to get rid of the Mexican Auto Stealerships when you can put $500 down plus 28% interest on low priced $5000 super clean 90’s crap can of a car that actually has a wholesale value of $500. They may even throw in a few 40s for ya if you’re cool about it all and just sign whatever they tell you to.

    Come awn man. Let’s go hit the Fiesta Liquor, get a few 40s, and talk about this idea that redevelopment, um sorry, gentrification being a good thing. It’s people like you who don’t appreciate how cool it is to have a “wierd” inner city hood to live in.

  • @Hobby: The problem is not with HEB. The problem is that the change in the law will allow multiple stores in the dry zone to sell beer and wine (CVS, Walgreens, Death Kroger, Sunny’s) and will open the way for creative end runs around the private club requirement (just have a separate beer and wine shop kiosk next to your restaurant. there is no prohibition on selling single servings). If HEB just asked to have its tract of land removed from the dry zone, there would probably be almost no opposition. But the law does not allow them to do that. All they can do is have a referendum to allow beer and wine sales or repeal the dry law altogether.
    The Heights is not a remote section of Cinco Ranch. We are right in the middle of a huge city. Bikes and packages left for delivery on front porches are constantly being stolen. A bunch of kids (literally kids, 12-14 year olds) put a loaded gun to a woman’s head on the White Oak bike path and tried to rob her last night. A sixty+ year old woman was sucker punched on the Heights Blvd esplanade a few weeks ago. Cars and trucks have been stolen and vehicles parked on the street are constantly being rifled through. Truck tail gates are stolen if not locked. There are criminals moving through the neighborhood every day. Why in the world would I want to make sure they can get a cold one after they punch out my car window to see if I left my phone in the car just so HEB can be lazy and get a better deal on opening a store in the area? HEB is a big company. They can afford to find another location that does not require the neighborhood to give up an important land use protection.

  • @Old School
    The vandalism problem you are bringing up is not a heights only problem, we live in 3rd or 4th largest city in America, it wouldn’t change anything if this proposition passes. Many restaurants already have “drinking clubs” set up, this is just ridiculous the main one that comes to mind is Down House. I live about two block away from 23rd and Sheppard, and I would rather see an HEB built there than another monster apt complex, we all know that apt complexes bring on a multitude other issues. I voting Yes

  • @OldSchool: Hold on. First, you’re upset about crime in the Heights? Crime is WAY down in the Heights since the yuppies moved in. So they either moved in knowing about the level of crime or they didn’t do their homework. Either way I can’t get too worked up about a safer neighborhood still not being 100% crime free.
    Second, what’s the connection between buying a beer at a convenience store and burglary? Are you positing a horde of would be burglars who are somehow prevented from punching out your car window because they would have to travel a few extra blocks to buy a beer afterward? Please explain.

  • @Hobby: If you want an HEB instead of an apartment complex, why don’t you buy the land and build an HEB? Of course, I do not really mean that. It is just the knee jerk comment everyone else makes whenever someone dares to state what they want for the neighborhood. I would take an HEB over an apartment complex, but not if it means having beer and wine sales at convenience stores.
    @meme: Yes, crime is way down, but it is still a very real and substantial problem. No, there is no one to one relationship between crime and serving beer and wine in convenience stores. But there is no doubt that every day in the Heights there are people moving through the neighborhood who are homeless or on drugs or looking to commit crimes or all of the above. I see brown bag beer cans at the bus stop south of I 10 on Heights all the time. Why in the world would anyone want to expand the sale of beer and wine in a neighborhood that has these problems? You are just not living in reality if you think that doing so will be completely benign.

  • @OldSchool, you just need to move to some gated community in the far burbs, where your paranoia can relax a bit. Allowing the sale of alcohol for off premise is not going to ruin the Heights. You want to know what ruined the Heights? The stupid historic district ordinance that deprives people of the right to live in the home of their choice.

  • @OldSchool,
    Apparently CVS, Walgreens and probably the 20th St Kroger run afoul of the 300-ft rule due to their proximity to Hamilton Middle School, and therefore will not be able to sell beer and wine if the measure passes. Schools can also protest a license for any establishment within 1000 feet (property line to property line, not door to door), which covers significant chunks of Heights and Yale near Hamilton and Harvard.

  • @OldSchool: “Why in the world would anyone want to expand the sale of beer and wine in a neighborhood that has these problems?”
    Because people want to sell and buy beer and wine, and there is no correlation between the sale of beer and wine and those problems.

  • Haha. Sponsoring Swamplot for a day. Well played, Dry Heights people. Well played.

  • So it is Bill (Boulevard Realty) Baldwin leading the Keep Heights Dry group. I noticed his web site listed one of the reasons to keep Height dry was to “Keep the Heights Historic”. Ironic, as Baldwin was a leading opponent of the city’s historic ordinance for neighborhoods and created a group to have it repealed.

  • The absurd arguments for keeping the Heights dry are completely meritless. First they say that Heights residents are only a few minutes away from a grocery store already. This is true, however they fail to mention how already UNBELIEVABLY CROWDED these grocery stores are. If you want to go to the Kroger at Shepherd and 11th, you need to give yourself about 5-6 extra hours to find a parking spot in that lot. Sometimes I think it would be faster to walk the few miles there and back that it would be to try to find a parking spot in that lot. Then there is the Kroger on 20th street, or the Kroger that Time Forgot as I call it. Until a few months ago, it didn’t even have self check out machines. Stepping into that store is like walking into 1951. If they could sell beer and wine there, Kroger might actually spend money on remodeling it for the first time in its history. Then the opposition says they want to keep the Heights weird. It is plenty weird enough without keeping this antiquated ban in place. They whine about unwanted development. What about people like myself who WANT this development so there are more restaurants and shops in the Heights instead of the tired, dusty antique stores on 19th that have absolutely nothing I would want to buy in them at all. This would hasten gentrification which would help get those hideous eyesore used car lots on North Shepherd out of here faster. Vote for Proposition 1 and move the Heights into the 21st century.

  • I voted No. Easy decision. If HEB wants to build in the Heights then adjust to the neighborhood not the other way around. It’s no accident that reality firms are against it. This brings nothing to the neighborhood it doesn’t already have and would herald a proliferation of convenience stores that would drive down and home values. The Heights would not be what it is today without the dry zone.