The news that the Fiesta Mart at 2300 N Shepherd Dr. is closing – the assistant manager says the last day is March 27 – has people wondering what will take its place.
According to Jim Arnold, the CEO of 2ML Real Estate Interests Inc. which owns the land, the answer is as yet undetermined.
“We are still formulating plans and determining what the best use will be,” said Arnold, who used to be the vice-president of The Grocers Supply Co., Inc. Grocers Supply owned both the Fiesta and the land on which it stood, but sold the grocery store to a private equity company some years back, keeping the land. Arnold said it was Fiesta’s choice to go.
Arnold has experience in developing both grocery stores and shopping centers. He said he’s also been approached by someone wanting to put in apartments – but any decision will wait for land studies and surveys.
When asked if he’d like to see an H-E-B on the land, Arnold said he wouldn’t rule it out.
In 2015, The Leader interviewed Director of HEB’s Public Affairs Cyndy Garza-Roberts about what H-E-B looks for in a location.
Garza-Roberts said H-E-B looks for a minimum of six acres when building a store. If that’s the case, the 180,000 square feet of Fiesta’s land is about two acres short. Garza-Roberts said they need that amount of space to insure that they can provide adequate parking for customers.
H-E-B also requires population density that that will insure enough customers and sales for them to meet their financial model.
“We have an interest in both [Garden Oaks and the Heights],” said Garza-Roberts. “One of the challenges we face in the Heights is that much of the area is ‘dry’ – meaning we would be prevented from selling beer/wine. This makes finding a location there problematic.”