Coppell Chronicle Vol. 3, No. 46
Is an H-E-B in Store for Coppell ISD? • Pump Problem Temporarily Displaces Swimmers • District to Add Courses in Robotics • White Nationalist Free to Wreak More Havoc
What do you think the going rate for a fire truck is these days? Think about it as you enjoy this edition, and I’ll reveal the answer in the Chronicle Crumbs.
Is an H-E-B in Store for Coppell ISD?
Let’s make something clear up front: I am not reporting that Dallas County’s first H-E-B grocery store will be built in Coppell ISD. However, should that news ever come to pass, I want you to remember reading this article.
In December of 2022, the Irving City Council approved a zoning change requested by LaTerra Development that will allow the Los Angeles firm to turn the former Fry’s building on Interstate 635 into a storage facility. When making their case, LaTerra representatives promised they were luring a high-end retail client to the south end of the Fry’s property — which is within Coppell ISD — but they did not name any names.
“Once the neighborhood learns of the tenant that we’re talking to, I think you’re going to say, ‘Wow! My home value just went up,’” LaTerra managing director Chris Tourtellotte told the council back then. “I think you’re going to be very, very pleased.”
(See “Storage Units OK’d With Promise of Store” in Vol. 2, No. 42.)
Since then, I’ve heard whispers that the supposedly very-pleasing tenant will be H-E-B, the San Antonio-based grocery chain that began opening stores in the Dallas area a couple of years ago.
Last Tuesday, the Irving Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of a zoning change proposed by LTFI Investors — a firm that shares a mailing address with LaTerra — that would allow the still-unnamed retailer to include a restaurant with alcohol sales. This schematic shows how the restaurant would be incorporated into the building’s northwest corner.
When that image was shown during the commission’s work session, Chair Joshua Skinner asked, “Do we have any idea what the larger chunk there is going to be?” Planning Manager Ken Bloom replied, “We do not have any information that’s been submitted to us.”
Documents prepared for the commissioners said the retail building will be about 121,000 square feet. That’s just a bit larger than the four H-E-B stores that have opened in Collin and Denton counties in the past couple of years:
Sept. 21, 2022: An H-E-B opened at 4800 Main Street in Frisco.
Nov. 2, 2022: An H-E-B opened at 6001 Preston Road in Plano.
July 19, 2023: An H-E-B opened at 8700 Eldorado Parkway in McKinney.
Oct. 4, 2023: An H-E-B opened at 575 E. Exchange Parkway in Allen.
Those four stores are either 117,000 square feet or 118,000 square feet, according to The Dallas Morning News, which covered all four openings and has reported that eight more are in the works. The article linked in the previous sentence does not mention Irving.
Each of the four stores listed above includes a restaurant called True Texas BBQ that sells beer and other adult beverages. And all but one of those restaurants is on the far left as you face the H-E-B’s front doors, just like the schematic of the retail building shown to the Irving commissioners on Tuesday. (The exception is Allen, where True Texas BBQ is on the far right.)
Nobody mentioned the future occupant of the Irving building during Tuesday’s public hearing, when LTFI Investors was represented by Joe LaCroix, a civil engineer with Fort Worth-based Baird, Hampton & Brown. So I emailed LaCroix on Wednesday to see if he could provide any clarity.
“We appreciate your interest in the property,” LaCroix wrote. “However, we are not at liberty to disclose any information about the future development or occupants at this time.”
The Irving City Council will have the final say regarding alcohol sales at the I-635 site. That decision should be on the agenda for their Jan. 25 meeting.
Pump Problem Temporarily Displaces Swimmers
Coppell High School’s swimmers and divers have temporarily lost their pool.
The Cowboys and Cowgirls train at the Coppell YMCA’s pool, which is out of commission for at least three weeks. The motor in the pool’s pump did not live to see 2024. Willie Lees, the Y’s vice president of operations, said he hopes to have a replacement installed by Jan. 22.
“Unfortunately, it is not a quick turnaround for this fix,” Lees said.