HEB, coming to Dallas, and what it means to us

There was a cyber brouhaha this week when the San Antonio Business Journal reported that H.E. Butt Grocery, the parent company of Central Market, was readying Dallas expansion plans for its HEB grocery stores. Given the vacant real estate in every neighborhood where we do magazines, this was big news — and especially because HEB has insisted, for years, that it had no desire to come to Dallas.

Turns out the San Antonio weekly was a bit premature (and the original story was edited a couple of days later to reflect that). "We do not have plans for Dallas yet," company spokeswoman Dya Campos wrote me in an email. And she declined to answer any other questions, including the typical store size, what HEB looks for in demographics, and whether it would do a store in a dry area.

So we can probably count HEB out as an anchor any time soon for any of the moonscapes (or potential moonscapes, given the way the economy is going) that stretch from Oak Cliff to Far North Dallas.

More about HEB after the jump:

HEB, for the curious, does a traditional grocery store, about 65,000 square feet, and a concept called HEB Plus, about 140,000 square feet. The latter combines groceries with general merchandise, including furniture and expanded beauty, baby, party and entertainment departments.

Interestingly, the company doesn’t limit development to empty land in suburban cotton fields when it’s looking for locations. It bought an old mall in San Antonio as a site for one of its first HEB Plus stores, and a strip center in Houston when it was looking for space to build a regular HEB "inside the loop," which is the equivalent of building inside LBJ in Dallas.


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