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.)
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Though the clock hasn’t exactly run out, it’s apparent H-E-B has all but given up on a 2-story version of the store, which would have had parking underneath and left part of the site open as a park. McClelland says aspects of such a design — which would have included additional lease space — would have provided additional income for the company, but not enough to make up for a $800,000 funding gap. None of the 3 single-story designs produced by Lake Flato included retail spaces facing West Alabama because without building a raised structure there wouldn’t be enough space for parking to support them. The 78,000-sq.-ft. H-E-B will have about 390 parking spaces, or 5 for every 1,000 sq. ft.
A portion of the parking lot close to Dunlavy — and close to outdoor seating for the planned cafe — will host outdoor markets and concerts on an occasional basis. Underneath will be a stormwater retention system. McClelland says the store will by supplied by smaller 28-ft. delivery trucks instead of the 48-ft. trucks most of his other stores use; they’ll be routed from the 527 spur to Richmond Ave., and unload their goods on the western side of the building.
All existing trees along West Alabama are slated to be cut down. McClelland says that’s necessary to route electrical service for the building. But he’s pledged to replace all trees taken out from the site — caliper inch for caliper inch — with new ones on site or elsewhere in Montrose.
One issue that’s still unresolved: Whether to include a pedestrian gate at the end of Branard or Sul Ross St., which H-E-B had promised to wall off. McClelland says neighbors to the west of the property want one — except, of course, for those neighbors who live on the dead-end portions of those 2 streets.
The store’s designers are now making “tweaks” to incorporate other input received at the meeting. McClelland tells Swamplot he expects to have another rendition to show within 4 weeks.
- Wilshire Village coverage [Swamplot]