(Seguin) -- After almost a year of speculation, HEB is finally announcing the construction of a new 100,000 square foot store to be built on the west side of its existing site.
The new store, designed to face east toward State Highway 123 Bypass, will undergo construction in two weeks.
HEB General Manager Danny Crowson says luckily, the plan for Seguin evolved into constructing a brand new store rather than adding on to it.
"We really felt like that we needed a brand new store here and to address the parking issues that we have here as well. We felt like that was only way that we could really do all of that. So the decision was made to build 100,000 square foot brand new store. It would be located over here on the west side of the shopping center, positioned between the bank and the theatre and it will face the east. Of course, this store will be raised after the new one is built and will be turned into a parking lot. So we're kind of standing in the parking lot right now. This store -- it's not going to be a Plus store but it is going to be a food, drug store with all the expanded variety and assortment that all of our other stores have. It's going to be very similar to the newer store in New Braunfels, except for it is going to be a little larger. That store is 88,000 square feet. This store is going to be 100,000 square feet," said Crowson.
When compared to the current store, Crowson says the new HEB will be considerably larger. The sales floor is currently 58,000 square feet while the total store size sits at under 70,000 square feet.
While similar to the newer store in New Braunfels, Seguin will have other special features including a new barbecue restaurant.
"We will have a brand new barbecue restaurant in the store. So it's pretty exciting. A lot of great things are going to happen. Of course, we'll still have our deli department pretty much as it is today. We'll still do the rotisserie chickens and all that, but the Chinese food is going away. We're one of the few stores left of about three stores in the company that still do the Chinese food, but it is going away. We will be focusing on the barbecue restaurant primarily. It's a pretty nice addition. It’s really going to be first class," said Crowson.
Crowson says of course, the rest of the store will also be equipped with all the latest upgrades that help making shopping easier and more efficient.
"We're blessed with lots of customers, but our aisles are really pretty narrow. We've got aisles in this store that are probably 5 1/2 foot to 7 foot. All of the aisles in the new store, I think the smallest aisle I saw in there was 7 foot 6 inches and up to 8 and 9 inches. So the aisles are going to be a lot bigger. It's going to be a lot easier to get around in the store, a lot easier to shop. I think the merchandising that we do in our new stores really make it easy to come in and do your shopping along with the apps that we now have available that has the actual layout of each store. You an actually do a shopping list from your home that will tell you exactly everything that you put in there -- it'll tell you what aisle it's on and what shelf it's on in your store. So there's a lot of great new things that are coming down the way to our customers that'll enhance and make that shopping a little more pleasurable and a little easier to do," said Crowson.
Crowson says parking will hopefully no longer be an issue for customers. He says right now, the store has 325 parking spaces -- with many of them located behind First Commercial Bank. He says this new HEB site will increase its spaces by 75 percent providing 565 spots for customer parking.
"We will close this store one day and open the new store the very next day. They'll start the demolition of this store right after that store opens and that'll be about the middle of October and by Christmas week, this store will be gone and a brand new parking place will be in it's place. Now, there's going to be new parking behind the store. They’ll be extending the parking area over there in front of the theatre all the way over to the new retail that they'll be building on the northeast corner. So we'll have parking behind the store and we'll have parking in front of the old store. It takes about seven weeks to tear this one down and completely come back and fill it with the parking lot," said Crowson.
Other amenities for the new store include a Cooking Connection Station which will be an added bonus for those looking to better prepare their meals.
"We are going to have a Cooking Connection added to this store. A Cooking Connection if you're not familiar with it, that's where there's a kiosk in the middle and then you've got your person mic'd up to talk to you about the products that they're fixing and give you recipes and let you try the product right there as they cook it and let you ask questions about what did you do, how did you do this, that kind of thing so that's something that's going to be brand new to this store," said Crowson.
Like the Cooking Connection Station, Seguin's new store will also offer a Texas Front Yard -- providing even more products for its consumers.
"The Texas Front Yard is where we will have all of our outside plants, trees, shrubs. We'll also have all of the things that you need to use to work in your garden. Of course, we have all the fertilizers out there and the tools that you'll need, all of that will be in our Texas Front Yard area. Now our Plus stores have what call the Texas Back Yard. In the other stores, we have what we call the Texas Front Yard and you don't have quite the selection in the Texas Front Yard as you do in the Back Yard, but it's very similar," said Crowson.
In addition to the new HEB, the King Family which currently owns that particular business pad, is expected to also build a couple of buildings for business tenants. The building will be facing west and will be located on the northeast side of the property just behind Hastings and JCPenney which will both remain in place. Currently, four of the tenants located the east side of HEB have already made commitments to move to that location upon construction.
Properties on the back end of the new future HEB store such as Garcia's Mexican Restaurant will also remain in place along with the road that runs north and south connecting East Court and Walnut Streets.