H-E-B expansion could cause road closures downtown

H-E-B plans to expand, invest $100 million to downtown head­quarters

H-E-B is looking to expand and invest at least $100 million over the next decade to its downtown facility. The project also includes building a grocery store, a gas station and adding hundreds of jobs.

However, some residents in the King William Historic District are against the proposed closure of South Main Avenue in front of H-E-B's headquarters. 

Charlotte Luongo, a King William District resident, believes closing Main Avenue will hinder rather than enhance growth downtown. She said losing a portion of the street would put more traffic on surrounding streets and cause problems for bicyclists.

"Main Avenue is the only thoroughfare in the southwest quadrant of downtown that has bike lanes, so this would just be devastating for the bicycling community to be able to safely travel to the center of downtown," said Luongo.

H-E-B would like to close the block of Main Avenue from Cesar Chavez to Arsenal Street. They said this would allow company employees to be able to cross main without dodging traffic.

District 1 Councilman Diego Bernal released a statement regarding the closures:

"HEB's latest plan includes several improvements. Add to the equation 800 professional jobs by 2020. That's an average of over 100 per year over six years, potentially coming into District 1, and I am very encouraged by the proposal."

Residents like Luongo appreciate H-E-B, but believe closing a portion of the street may divide the community instead of bringing it together.

“Putting that wall between us and their campus, that gate, we would no longer be able to move through their campus, it's the antithesis of that, moving away from them being part of our community," said Luongo.

H-E-B officials will go before city council to discuss the proposed plan to close a portion of South Main Avenue on Nov. 21.

For a list of recent stories Mariza Mendoza has done, click here.

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