The H-E-B Clear Lake Marketplace at 3501 Clear Lake City Blvd., opened its doors at 6 a.m. today, Wednesday February, 17th.
The opening of an H-E-B store in the Clear Lake area reflects the grocery chain's commitment here despite economic gloom spreading out from the hard-hit energy industry, an official said during a ribbon-cutting Tuesday.
"We continue to invest in Houston in spite of what's happening with the economy softening a little bit," said Richard Castillo, H-E-B's Houston regional vice president. "We're very bullish on Houston."
Within the next year, Castillo said, H-E-B plans at least three more stores in suburban Houston: in Magnolia, in Kingwood and in the Aliana planned community in Fort Bend County, near the Grand Parkway and U.S. 59.
The 106,000-square-foot H-E-B Clear Lake Marketplace employs 350 people and features a community room with a full kitchen for cooking lessons, and standard sections including produce, a deli, a bakery and sushi bar.
Unlike the developing areas where H-E-B typically seeks out expansion sites, the Clear Lake location is in an established residential area, Castillo said. But there is a new residential area, The Reserve at Clear Lake City, under development nearby, and the population is growing.
Business leaders, community representative and City Councilman Dave Martin were on hand for the opening ceremony and a guided tour.
"Any growth in any community anywhere is good for the economy," said Stan Cook, president of the Clear Lake City Community Association, adding that the area continues to attract residents. "This is a huge investment this company has decided to make."