Fort Worth City Council members quickly approved a Southeast Side rezoning case Tuesday that has triggered big buzz about a potential entry of H-E. Butt Grocery Co. into the city, but a company spokeswoman cautioned that any development could be some time off and might not happen at all.
Council members unanimously approved the rezoning of nearly three acres at 4211 E. Rosedale St. and Miller Avenue to allow for neighborhood commercial uses and a mini-warehouse. H-E-B, based in San Antonio, had requested the rezoning, outlining a 55,000-square-foot grocery store, warehouses, and a 2,550-square-foot office building in the proposed Rosedale Marketplace.
Panther LLC in Fort Worth owns the land, an 8.5-acre site. The city’s zoning commission recently approved the rezoning and sent the case to the City Council.
Heather Senter, a spokeswoman for H-E-B’s Central Market stores, tamped expectations.
“They’re doing their due diligence,” Senter said. “They’re still in their very early stages.”
Speculation about H-E-B - a leading grocer that has grocery stores in Burleson, Cleburne, Granbury and Stephenville and Central Market stores in Fort Worth, Southlake, Dallas and Plano – has moved into high gear in the retail-hungry area. Nearby, city officials on Friday celebrated the opening of a Walmart off of U.S. 287.
“Already, the neighborhood is buzzing about it being and H-E-B store, and it might not be developed at all,” said Senter, adding the company sent a note to Mayor Betsy Price, who has been publicly touting H-E-B.
H-E-B didn't specify in the zoning application what format it was considering. It has several store formats: the traditional H-E-B, H-E-B plus!, Joe V’s Smart Shop, Mi Tienda, and Central Market.
The company has been creeping into the periphery of the Metroplex for years, but has been wary of the intensly competitive metropolitan grocery market.
When Central Market celebrated its 10th anniversary in Fort Worth in 2011, Central Market executives said then they expected a smaller version of that high-end store to be the focus of H-E-B’s urban growth in the Metroplex for the foreseeable future.
- Scott Nishimura, Star-Telegram Fort Worth City Hall reporter