Grocery store eyes expansion in Bellaire, making neighboring business owners nervous

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If H-E-B goes through with a major construction project, that could force smaller stores to move (KTRK)

Small business owners near a Bellaire H-E-B are concerned about its potential expansion.

The store, located on Bissonnet near S. Rice, was first opened in August of 1993. According to the City of Bellaire, H-E-B has announced plans to possibly replace the entire shopping center where it currently sits with a new 70,000 square foot, two-story building with parking only on the ground floor. H-E-B would be the sole tenant.

"It makes me very angry because you're doing a business. I'm doing a business, you see. I should have the right to do my business in the right location," said Hema Nathan at Bouquelle Cleaners. The dry cleaner has been in continuous operation at the same location since 1995. "I would rather stay where I am. Definitely! 100 percent! I would like to stay here," Nathan said.

A spokesperson for H-E-B says the company is trying to determine what is best for the community. Cyndy Garza-Roberts, Public Affairs Director for H-E-B, insists, "We have not made any final decision."

Bellaire's mayor says the city has approved the expansion and that it would attract more business to the city as a whole.

"Economic development tends to be contagious....this may expand the footprint of our premiere commercial district," says Mayor Phil Nauert. "We're very excited about it."
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