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H-E-B considering new, larger store in Cuero

By Sonny Long
June 13, 2011 at 1:13 a.m.

H-E-B in Cuero was built in 1960 and contains 13,500 square feet. The grocery chain is studying the possibility of building a new, larger store.

CUERO - H-E-B heard Cuero loud and clear.

Last winter, the city, chamber of commerce and economic development corporation launched a public relations campaign to let the grocery chain know it was time for a new, larger store.

The message didn't fall on deaf ears.

"H-E-B was contacted by the city leadership in Cuero about five months ago, asking us to consider building a new store in Cuero," said Shelley Parks, H-E-B spokeswoman. "We gave them a list of the information that they needed to get to us in order for us to consider it and make an informed decision."

The information was provided and H-E-B is conducting a feasibility study to see if a new store is a viable option, Parks said.

No decision has been made at this time, but H-E-B is working closely with the city on gathering additional information, she added.

Cuero city manager Raymie Zella talked about the process and the possibilities of a new, larger H-E-B coming to Cuero.

Do you think the publicity campaign was a factor in getting H-E-B's attention?

Yes. That and the growing economy has made H-E-B look real hard at Cuero for a larger store site. Ever since the campaign for a new H-E-B store was started, they have actively been looking for a place to put a new store.

What location for a new store is being looked at?

One of the properties H-E-B is considering is the old Texas Department of Transportation property on Broadway Street and the baseball field in the park behind this property. The proposed location provides good connectivity to Broadway Street and Esplanade Street for easy access for H-E-B customers and much more room than the existing H-E-B store site.

A lot of improvements have been made at the baseball field the last few years by C-BAT (a nonprofit baseball support group). How does that organization and the school district feel about the possibility of losing the field?

We have talked to the school about a possible relocation site for a new baseball field on school property. C-BAT who has the field under contract, is in favor of this as long as there would be a new updated baseball field and facilities built to replace the existing field. A lot of details would have to be worked out between the school district and the city.

What's next?

Like the city, H-E-B also needs to do feasibility studies, including research on the property, site plan studies and determine the larger store facility size and layout. They are going to do feasibility studies of the property to see if a store at this site will actually work. If they say it will, then we would take it to the city council. Because the baseball field is on park land, an election would have to be held and all of the citizens of Cuero would be allowed to vote whether or not to put the land up for sale. The earliest we could possibly hold an election would be in November.

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