11/16/10 11:40am

H-E-B agreed several months ago to wall off the ends of Sul Ross and Branard streets, which dead-end into the site of its future Montrose market at West Alabama and Dunlavy, and which served as entrances for the Wilshire Village Apartments that were torn down there last year. But what about devotees of that obscure local Montrose pastime known as walking to the supermarket? If they’re coming from the neighborhoods to the west, should they be able to get through that way?

Over the weekend, the Lancaster Place Civic Association worked out a “compromise” between homeowners on the dead-end portions of Sul Ross and Branard — mostly opposed to having pedestrian gates at the ends of their streets — and homeowners and renters in that neighborhood to the south and southwest of the site, most of whom wanted them included. H-E-B Houston prez Scott McClelland says he’ll have H-E-B’s in-house architects design what the association came up with: A pedestrian gate on Branard, with a timer that will lock it after dark. Sul Ross, which is closer to the store entrance, won’t have a gate, but will have a panel in the wall that would make it easier to put one in later.

11/09/10 3:03pm

Ignore the alternating reds, greens, and yellows on the renderings: store regional president Scott McClelland says the new H-E-B coming to the corner of West Alabama and Dunlavy will have “natural materials” on the exterior — though he says he doesn’t know yet what those materials will be. Getting rid of the colors is just one of the changes requested by attendees of the recent neighborhood meeting. H-E-B announced last week that those same neighbors had selected the “Pavilion” roof design — already the most Menil-like of the 3 decorate-the-box options prepared by San Antonio architects Lake Flato. The vote totals, tallied by Neartown Association president David Robinson: 88 for the Pavilion, 75 for the Sawtooth, and 43 for the Wave. (See all three designs here.)


11/04/10 10:23am

H-E-B has announced the “winner” of the dress-up design contest for its new supermarket on the corner of West Alabama and Dunlavy — the site of the former Wilshire Village apartments. The top vote-getting entry, named “The Pavilion,” is easily distinguished from the other 2 proposals from San Antonio architects Lake Flato: It’s the one where the roof isn’t jaggedy and isn’t curvy. We’ll have more details shortly.

View of Pavilion design from Dunlavy driveway: Lake Flato

10/29/10 1:55pm

All 3 designs by San Antonio architects Lake Flato for the new H-E-B Market on the former site of the Wilshire Village Apartments — released by the grocery company in advance of a Neartown Association meeting this weekend — appear to share the same footprint and site plan. H-E-B Houston region president Scott McClelland had promised neighborhood residents would have an opportunity to vote for one of the 3 designs, but the options appear to be limited to the building’s roof shape and exterior detailing. All 3 designs feature a single-story structure that backs up to West Alabama, with the main entrance facing a parking lot on the southern portion of the site. But McClelland tells the Chronicle‘s Mike Morris that the company will be asking for input on other design issues at the meeting, including pedestrian access. Current plans call for a new center lane on Dunlavy, and new sidewalks and bike racks for the store.

McClelland says that drawings for a 2-story store — with parking underneath, allowing for a smaller footprint and a 2-acre park on the site — will be discussed and presented at the meeting. However, attendees won’t get to vote for it. “Until I know we can build it, it isn’t a viable option,” he tells Swamplot. He says the company is still short $800K of the additional $2 million a 2-story store would cost. “I’ve made numerous calls to others in an attempt to find addt’l funds….so far without success. Similarly, the [Montrose Land Development Coalition] hasn’t had success either.” Putting a park on the site is not a high priority for the city parks department because there are other parks nearby, McClelland says. If the money can be found within 45 days, he tells Swamplot, a 2-story option would be “considered.”

What do the 3 single-story Lake Flato designs look like? A set of renderings labeled “The Sawtooth” shows a store similar to the firm’s recent design for the H-E-B at Buffalo Speedway and Bissonnet, but adds an additional jag to the roof overhang on the south-facing entrance — and several north-facing clerestory windows: