H-E-B’s latest announcement does not include expansion to Tarrant

H-E-B’s Burleson location in 2016.
H-E-B’s Burleson location in 2016. Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Sure, H-E-B’s employment rolls just ticked past 100,000, making it the largest Texas-based private employer.

And sure, over 90,000 of those jobs are Texas jobs, spread across 332 locations in the Lone Star State.

But when will the Fort Worth area see its first H-E-B location? It’s the question that has rung out from all corners of DFW since one landed in Burleson in 2010. A Parker County location in Hudson Oaks was announced in 2014, but construction has not yet begun on that location.

According to a response to a question on Facebook, the City of Hudson Oaks said construction is to start before the end of 2017, with an opening date somewhere in the second quarter of 2018.

The same company announcement touting the company’s job totals also included a line near the end that touted nine new Texas stores to come in 2017. It would make sense, seemingly, that one of those would be headed in Tarrant County’s direction.

But, alas, for Fort Worth shoppers, it doesn’t look like 2017 is the year H-E-B moves its massive footprint any closer to Tarrant County.

“I can confirm we have no stores planned for Fort Worth,” H-E-B spokeswoman Julie Bedingfield said via e-mail. “We have announced two new stores in the San Antonio area market this year.”

H-E-B is based in San Antonio, but has been buying up property in North Texas over the past few years, from Mansfield to Allen. Though four of the six properties H-E-B bought last year, formerly Sun Fresh Market locations, have been sold or leased to other retailers, H-E-B still owns about 20 parcels of land in the region.

So what gives, H-E-B?

“Those nine stores that were announced will be in areas H-E-B exists already,” said Mabrie Jackson, director of public affairs for Central Market, a grocery brand owned by H-E-B with locations in Fort Worth, Southlake, Dallas and Plano. “We’re always reviewing the long-term planning process as we move forward. It’s just not time yet.”

Matthew Martinez: 817-390-7667; @MCTinez817