That Rumor About a New Central Market in Garden Oaks

THAT RUMOR ABOUT A NEW CENTRAL MARKET IN GARDEN OAKS To all of you who’ve been emailing, tweeting, and speculating about H-E-B buying the Sears shopping center at 4000 N. Shepherd at the edge of Garden Oaks and turning it into a Central Market: Interesting idea. But here’s your rumorkiller: Houston division prez Scott McClelland tells Swamplot, “H-E-B has not looked at this location and we’ve had no discussions about it to date.” Photo: City-Data

22 Comment

  • …and never will. Central Market, no matter the sales (and they are high) is not the home run you might think.

    Different business model. Notice they haven’t branded any stores “central market” when it was much more clear cut of an area for one? West U, Woodlands, Montrose.

    HEB doesn’t even have a vested interest in this area, Heights + near NW. They allowed WALMART to beat them out on a tract of land, for crying out loud.

    The site for them is 610/Yale, NEC. And even then, the horror of a neighborhood to the north will be a consideration, even as it gets them their precious freeway exposure.

    I wouldn’t expect to see HEB in this quadrant of town for the next decade…name another site they would consider…

  • Would be great to see them close the HEB Pantry store at East TC Jester and 18th, and take over the Restaurant Depot property a block over at 18th and West TC Jester. That Pantry store is awful, and the Kroger on 43rd is bad too. There is not a good grocery choice in the Northwest Heights/Oak Forest/Garden Oaks area.

  • Not really fair to say that HEB “allowed” Walmart to beat them out for the Yale location. Walmart is the largest retailer in the world and came to the table with far deeper pockets than HEB had. Walmart also wanted desparately to get a location near the Sawyer Target, which is one of the highest grossing Targets in the country. HEB did not need a foil to Target’s Sawyer success.
    The folks at HEB are pretty smart. They found a way to slip a grocery store into Montrose. They will find a spot in the Heights/Rice Military area soon enough.

  • I disagree, Blake. I really love the little HEB on 18th. Yes, it’s small, but I’ve never been disappointed in the selection and it’s very fast to get in and out of there on a week night. Plus, the HEB staff is extremely helpful and very friendly.

  • old school – i will just say your synopsis of how that land that Walmart ended up buying is just incorrect…but i doubt you will buy that.

    bottom line, Ainbinder/Duckworth absolutely valued HEB’s presence there above Wallyworld, and made best efforts to usher them in the deal.

  • Is that Sears even closed???

  • As soon as I heard this rumor, I knew it was too good to be true (and I would mourn the loss of Sears — it is iconic to the area, and handy for so many things). The HEB on 18th is lacking on so many levels, but rest assured Scott McClelland et al are aware of it. The Kroger on 43rd isn’t “bad”; it just pales in comparison to its big sister on 11th/Shepherd.

  • So…where did this unfounded rumor originate? I’m guessing, from a Realt-whore?

  • Sears has two jewels with the locations in Garden Oaks and Midtown. Why don’t they just invest in these stores? Garden Oaks Sears was the “go to” store for just about everything back in the old days. They have the most yuppified areas in Houston out their back doors.

    Both structures are beautiful art-deco that could easily be restored to their former glory.

    Sears is just stupid.

  • The Midtown Sears is going away from what I’m hearing (I don’t think I’m just repeating old Swamplot rumors). I started hearing some rumbling that something big was happening in that part of Midtown and after doing some poking around, I found a few friends who were just being a little TOO tightlipped.

    Still don’t know for sure what’s happening there.

  • I work close to that Sears on N. Shepherd. Wasn’t aware it was going to close.

    A HEB would have been nice in that spot. Much more convenient than the Kroger on 43rd.

  • “Ainbinder/Duckworth absolutely valued HEB’s presence there above Wallyworld, and made best efforts to usher them in the deal.”

    That is rich. Nice copy from the PR desk. But for Walmart’s desparation to get that location, HEB would be building on that site right now. HEB was ready, willing and able. There is only so much a privately held regional grocery chain can do against a company with a market cap of 230 billion.

  • Maybe off-topic but can I vent? Oak Forest/Garden Oaks needs more RESTAURANTS, including a couple of DINERS. I am sooo tired of skipping to other neighborhoods for decent food. Back in the day, Kresge’s (predecessor of Kmart) had an excellent diner in their 5-10 store on 43rd (where the umteenth Subway is now).

  • Funny, although the 11th Street Kroger has a much bigger selection of upscale items, the one things I’ve found over and over again is that their organic produce is SEVERELY lacking! Very little of it, and what there is looks awful. 43rd Kroger does a FAR superior job in the organic produce department. Go figure.

  • I wish HEB would have built a new store on Studewood instead of another Kroger. We have three Krogers within 3 miles or less of each other.

  • So, Walmart was “desparate” to get that location, huh? Sounds like Walmart must know a little more about buying habits in the Heights area than some people claim.

    HEB has had several locations that they passed on, including the new Kroger site on Studewood. If HEB wanted in the Heights, they would be here. Instead, they moved out of their location on 11th. Sounds like HEB isn’t all that into the Heights.

  • My wife will die when she sees this. It would be like a dream come true. 43rd kroger is fine….for a kroger. The problem with the NW quadrant is that Kroger is the only real option and they really don’t compare to a big HEB. Thats one of the few times I get suburb envy. Once upon a time we had a nice Albertsons. I would go there and it was like a museum. Its a storage barn now.

  • Come on, people! The rumor was about a Central Market. A typical ‘Food & Drug’ store is plausible; a Central Market at this location would just be stupid.

  • If you go to the Central Market website, you’ll see that they have 9 locations, 5 of which are in DFW. Elsewhere, 2 in Austin, 1 in SA, 1 in Houston.

    Since the Houston store has been around quite awhile without getting any new brethren, I’m led to believe that they either don’t view Houston as a good market for that concept or have decided that upscale HEB-branded stores are a better corporate strategy. A number of those have opened in the interim.

    In any case, I’d be surprised see any more Central Market stores here, even tho’ I think they would do well. I think HEB is missing an opportunity, actually.

  • Not all HEB stores are created equally.

    Ours sucks.

  • The demographics have not and into the future(5-10 years put) do NOT support Central Market going in that location or area.The business model is : usually one store per city.Maybe 2 stores if the demographics justify the investment. The existing stores plus the new Kroger on Studewood blanket the area with plenty of grocery stores.Throw in the Target(I now know I contribute to it being one of the highest grossing stores in the U.S.) and MallWart and consumers in that area of town have many stores to choose from. I shop Central Market/Whole Foods-W.Dallas occasionally ; Kroger:Montrose & W.Gray /HEB-W.Alabama weekly and Fiesta -Dunlavy occasionally. By the way Fiesta has a lease that runs through 2014 -so unless Marvy Finger buys out Fiesta’s lease(which he won’t- he’s another tightwad businessman),Fiesta is staying put at the Dunlavy store. It just ticks Marvy off -which is delicious. In closing we consumers have a LOT of shopping choices here in Houston.

  • Kroger at 43rd is poorly run and overcrowded. Parking at the 11th and shepherd store stinks. The new one at studewood is really nice but I agree with others that an HEB like the one at Bunker Hill would be a dream come true. And what’s up with all the family friendly draft houses serving nothing but greasy fatty food? Why the heck can’t we get some decent dining over here in Garden Oaks? I’m tired of seeing all these people drinking in front of the kids while the kids run amuck. It’s not like this neighborhood couldn’t support some good restaurants with grown up food. Like others, it seems we have to bop on over to other neighborhoods to get a decent meal.