STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
MARBLE FALLS — The wait for the grand opening of the new H-E-B store in Marble Falls is almost over.
Officials announced the new store, which is 110,000 square feet, will open at 6 a.m. Friday, Feb. 9.
Leslie Sweet, the grocery chain’s director of public affairs in the Austin office, said executives are as eager for the completion of the project as residents.
“We’re so excited about what we can bring,” she said. “Construction doesn’t allow us to give a date until they’re confident everything will finish as they expect.”
The old store demolition will occur between February and May because store employees will need time to remove items out of the facility, Sweet said. Once the old store is gone, workers will create more parking.
In May, construction of the new gas pumps will begin with the completion date for it and the parking lot in September.
By the fall, construction for all parts of the store should be complete, and the celebration will be in full force.
Construction on the new facility, which will be 35,000 square feet larger than the current Marble Falls location, began in April 2017.
Officials could’ve closed the current store while the new one was being constructed, but Sweet said they didn’t want to do that, noting the better option was to keep it open as the new facility was being built.
“It’s always a challenge when you put two stores on one site,” she said. “We thought it was a better choice for the area shoppers.”
Sweet noted customers can look forward to sections that include a healthy living department and more organic foods with bigger selections; more options for bulk foods; a full-service seafood department; the Scratch Bakery and Tortillerìa, which features organic handmade breads and tortillas cooked in the store; a sizable floral department; and more cooking demonstrations, which H-E-B calls Cooking Connection and Primo Picks Kitchen.
“There’s a tremendous amount of room to offer so many departments,” she said.
H-E-B first opened its doors in Marble Falls on May 1, 1966, according to reports, with the current location opened in 1990. In the past two decades, H-E-B has spent nearly $7 million to improve and enhance the store and expand it to 75,841 square feet on 5.35 acres.
As the community continues to grow, so will H-E-B; it has added to the existing land lease for a total of 11.74 acres, according to reports.
Sweet acknowledged the challenges of construction for shoppers, noting store officials are aware of limited parking and how customers have had to be patient as workers continue to build.
“Know it’s going to be worth it,” she said. “This isn’t the first time we’ve gone through it. It’s a complicated process. Thanks for being patient with us.”