Oct. 23--H-E-B might add stores to the Odessa-Midland area amid an increasing population and booming economy, according to company officials. But those officials also say nothing is imminent.
Odessa store director David Dowd said, "There are no concrete plans, but there's interest."
Dowd and an assistant director declined further comment and referred the Odessa American to H-E-B's corporate office.
There, a company spokesperson who handles real estate matters released a statement Tuesday evening:
"We are always looking for new opportunities to serve more customers and to strengthen our support of communities across Texas, and this includes our customers in the West Texas market. However, currently we do not have plans for a new store in Midland or Odessa."
In a follow up interview, the spokesperson, Kimberly Harle, said H-E-B is considering adding new stores because of increasing demand, but the company has not done enough due diligence to make any final decisions. Normally, she added, the company would consult with community groups such as home-owners associations before finalizing a store, and that hasn't happened yet.
H-E-B had a real estate agent scout potential locations in Odessa, said Guy Andrews, the director of economic development for the Odessa Chamber of Commerce. Andrews declined to name the realtor.
"He was asking, at least for Odessa, where I would put it," Andrews said. "And I had to tell him: northeast, no doubt -- probably along 191 some place."
But Harle said H-E-B sometimes buys real estate for long-term planning purposes but sometimes sits on it for years and sells without building.
"There's so much planning that goes into a store," Harle said. "We want to do it right when we go into a community."
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