By Taylor Rexrode
The H-E-B location at 1102 Speight Avenue will close this year after approximately 40 years of service to the Baylor and surrounding communities.
The store, along with another H-E-B at 1110 South Valley Mills Drive, will close in order to make way for an H-E-B superstore that will open this fall at the corner of Interstate 35 and South Valley Mills Drive.
Houston sophomore Melody Liang has visited the off-campus grocery store for the past two years and buys groceries at least twice a month. Liang said she is upset by the news of the store’s closure.
“Now I have to drive pretty far to get my groceries,” Liang said.
The new superstore will be approximately two miles from campus, a farther drive than a trip to the Speight Avenue location, which is less than a mile from the edge of campus.
Arlington junior Ryan Blue thinks the location of the new store inconveniences customers.
“It will make it a lot more difficult on the neighborhood because they probably rely on it for its convenient location,” Blue said. “With the location of the new one, it will probably be overcrowded because of the way traffic funnels out of there.”
The new H-E-B, at 121,000 square feet, will feature a full-service meat market, deli and seafood department with a sushi bar. It will also have a bakery, pharmacy and an on-site dining experience called the Flaming Bird Grill, which will serve a variety of fire-cooked whole chickens and seats 48 people. The store will also feature an avocado bar where fresh guacamole will be made daily.
North Richland Hills junior Justin Wisniski, who currently visits the Speight Avenue H-E-B, said he would visit the new store for its proximity to campus.
“I’ll go to it because it’s close to where I live,” Wisniski said.
Baylor media communications director Lori Fogleman said the university has made no plans to utilize the Speight Avenue H-E-B area, and the location’s future tenant is unknown at this time.
H-E-B headquarters could not be reached at the time of publication.