Tying White Ribbons ’Round the Doomed Oak Trees: Is H-E-B Coming to Wilshire Village?

The trees remaining on the site of the former Wilshire Village Apartments at the corner of West Alabama and Dunlavy are sporting some colorful new tags as of late last week, reports a nearby resident:

All the trees have ribbons around them. Trees along Alabama have green ribbons. All the other trees (on about 3/4 of the property) have white ribbons. Exception: green ribbons for 2 live oak trees that flank the old property entrance at Sul Ross. If white ribbons mean TEAR DOWN, then the property will be virtually denuded.

Of course white ribbons don’t mean TEAR DOWN. They mean SURRENDER.

And then there’s the new rumor our informant just heard and is passing along:


that an HEB will be built on the old Wilshire Village property.

A new Wilshire Village H-E-B would jibe with the tree-clearance theory. And there aren’t too many grocery stores already in the area — unless of course you count the Randalls Flagship at Shepherd Square, the Kroger on Montrose, the Whole Foods just down West Alabama, and the Fiesta directly across the street.

The big issue is the green and white ribbons on the trees. SOMETHING is being planned regarding those trees, whether its HEB or something else.

Photo: Swamplot inbox

16 Comment

  • I’d hate to see Fiesta lose business and be forced to close. As a former regular, I loved shopping there. If it is an H-E-B, however, I hope it’s a smaller, more specialized store, geared to the neighborhood. Given H-E-B’s history, there’s a good chance it will be.

  • Dont see HEB working here. You already have fiesta(before it was apple tree, and before that safeway) been in the hood for over 28 years as a grocery store, if you want more specialized store, you have the Randalls on shepherd and westhiemer, which was remodeled, what 2 years ago? and not far from Randalls, you have Whole Foods on bama and kirby, not to mention another Whole Foods coming at Waugh and Dallas soon! and dont forget the Kroger on Montrose either!

    I think the market for supermarkets is over staturated for this part of town! maybe the only thing that would work as far as supermarket is concerned in the part of houston, is a local CO-OP of organic produce

    anyone in houston really want a Trader Joe’s besides me?!

  • We need an HEB in the Heights. There were rumblings that there was going to be one on Heights Blvd, just across the street from the Art Car Museum. Please, SAY IT IS SO!

  • I agree with EMME,the Heights is due to have a “good” HEB. The area right in front of the Art Car Museum by Heights Blvd. or the large tract of land between Yale and Bonner would be heavenly for Heights residents!

    The re-modeled Kroger on 11th street is just not going to cut it. The meat department is so tiny!

    Power to the People!

    On a serious note, isn’t the Buff Spdway HEB supposed to be serving the 77098 residents as well?

  • It is infuriating to imagine a developer cutting down big old oaks to put in a parking lot. That’s uncivilized to the point of obscenity.

  • …back on topic…

    yes, Trader Joe’s for the Wilshire site would be nice. I wrote to them and asked them very nicely.

  • I would be content with a Trader Joe’s ANYWHERE in Houston. Preferably within walking distance from my house though, since I would have to sell my car to pay for all the delicious goodies I’d buy every morning afternoon and night!

    I miss TJ’s!

  • I was so infuriated when developers planted these oak saplings on what was once a lovely, open prairie!

  • As a long time Heights resident who is currently (temporarily) relocated to Washington, DC I have a fresh perspective. Houston has probably the densest distribution of grocery stores per square mile of anywhere. I used to think it was odd. Now, when I can no longer walk out my front door and stroll the 14th street Fiesta in 10 minutes, I miss it terribly.

  • To JPH: Here, Everything’s Better.

  • Well said Eric

  • We had an HEB in The Heights until recently (11th St).

  • While the 11th St. HEB was an HEB, it was not a “good” HEB.

  • HEB annouced their new stores for 2010 – Beltway 8 west of I45 North and Katy. One is not going here. I’ve heard employees with a different take … Here … Everything Bites!

  • The property was foreclosed on last week, 2/2

  • The whole HEB rumor doesn’t seem likely–for reasons already mentioned in the previous posts. Personally, I think Trader Joes would compliment the existing neighborhood groceries. It would also be interesting to see some kind of smaller scale or boutique retail development. There is also a neighborhood-based group ( http://www.facebook.com/pages/Forever-Garden/255905144019?ref=ts ) advocating for the land’s use as a community garden.

    However, even if the bank(s) sell the land at current foreclosure prices, the economics don’t support that type of use. The most likely use will be the modern-day equivalent of what was torn down. At least that’s what many of the neighbors of Wilshire Village hope might happen. Anything other than another Ashby Hi-Rise….