Leslie Lockett, Director of Public Affairs for the regional H-E-B office returned my call Friday afternoon after two attempts to contact her earlier in the week. She said H-E-B is exploring their options with regard to expanding the Allandale store but no decision has been made. "H-E-B will make a formal announcement when a
decision has been made." As for now, they are only in the exploration stage. She did confirm there is a serious interest in it but there are a number of considerations. It takes awhile to get the design work done and determine the project costs. Like everyone else they are cautious about taking on any construction with the current state of the economy. H-E-B will also have to work through an agreement with the landlord to move forward on an expansion.
If H-E-B does expand the store at the Allandale Village would be to broaden their product offerings, give the store a facelift, and provide more room for shoppers. The store has been around since the early days of Allandale Village which dates back to the late 1940s. H-E-B originally occupied the space where the Antique Mall is and later moved into the current location in the 1970s. Judging from the traffic, it's a successful location. The current store is roughly 50,000 square feet. Leslie did not know the square footage that would be added if they expanded into the adjacent properties at the south end of the store. She did say it's very unlikely they would consider building up. There just isn't enough parking to support a two-story store.
The competition she says is one of the considerations in making their decision. Wal-Mart will be getting underway with construction of their Northcross store this Spring and Walgreens has a "Now Hiring" sign up outside it's soon-to-be completed store across the street. Given that Kids n Kats and Jackson Hewett are both relocating within
the Center at the end of this month my guess is a decision will come sooner rather than later. Leslie would only agree that a decision on an expansion would likely be made this year.