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H-E-B announces new stores in Odessa, Midland - Odessa American: News

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H-E-B announces new stores in Odessa, Midland

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Posted: Monday, April 7, 2014 2:39 pm

H-E-B officials formally announced plans Monday to build new grocery stores in Odessa and Midland to meet increasing demand as the area grows.

A company statement confirmed planned locations of each store, already suggested by a review of public records, at West University Boulevard and West Loop 338 in Odessa, and at Loop 250 and Highway 191 in Midland, where H-E-B bought a former call center.

“For nearly two decades H-E-B has been serving West Texas, and we will deepen our commitment with the addition of two new stores to meet the growing needs of West Texas families,” said Suzanne Wade, President of H-E-B San Antonio Food Drug division, in the statement.

H-E-B reported the planned expansion will add more than 500 jobs in Odessa and Midland. Company officials stopped short of announcing an opening date, but Kimberly Harle, a spokeswoman in San Antonio, said “it could be as early as late 2015.” 

The new stores, which are the second for each city, could help relieve congestion, Harle said.

“Odessa is a growing and thriving city and we chose the location because we felt it was the best location to serve our customers,” Harle said. “Currently, we feel that part of Odessa is underserved in the retail market.”

Store planners still have to determine the format of the stores, products they will carry and staffing, Harle said. That could begin after the Odessa City Council approves the abandonment of a portion of road and alley right-of-way on Tuesday, as is expected. The proposed abandonment will be on Coahuila Road.

In the meantime, a request is pending with the Odessa’s Planning and Zoning Department to rezone the roughly 9.75-acre site from a drilling reservation to a retail site. A hearing is scheduled for April 17, but Planning and Zoning Director Randy Brinlee said he expected the application to be approved.

David Dowd, store manager of the existing Odessa HEB at 3801 E. 42nd St., said he expected some initial impact from the new store.

“But I think that we will recoup that pretty quickly, just from the fact that it will be a less congested shopping experience so some of the folks that were reluctant to come in will now be more willing to come in,” Dowd said. The new store will also make it easier on customers who drive in from places like Fort Stockton, Pecos and Monahans, he said.

“They will definitely have more choice on the west side now,” Dowd said.

Much of Odessa’s growth has been to the northeast but West Odessa’s population is surging too, said Ector County Commissioner Freddie Gardner, whose Precinct 1 includes West Odessa.

“They’ll have probably as many people out west shopping there as there will be inside the city limits,” Gardner said. “We’ve needed an H-E-B over on the west side for many, many years.”

H-E-B’s statement on Monday also announced $70,000 worth of charitable donations to accompany the expansion announcement. H-E-B donated $30,000 to be split among the Midland United Way, Odessa United Way and West Texas Food Bank. On May 15, store-goers in Odessa and Midland will be able to begin voting for their favorite non-profit organization for children, and the winners in each city will get $20,000 for summer programs.

Libby Campbell, the executive director of the West Texas Food Bank, called the new stores “fantastic news” that could also mean more salvaged food donated to her organization, which covers a 19-county region.

“I think it will better help service people in Odessa wherever you live,” Campbell said. “Just more food available in our community is always a good thing.”


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