Household access to grocery stores is important to many neighbors in Austin. In fact, the Imagine Austin comprehensive plan includes among its complete communities indicators “Households within ½ mile distance of full-service supermarkets/grocery stores (percent)”.
There are two ways to increase the percentage of households in close proximity to grocery stores. The most scalable and sustainable way is to enable as many households as possible to live near grocery stores that already exist. To do so, the city must allow for a greater abundance and diversity of housing in the areas already served by grocery stores. The most obvious way, however, is to build new grocery stores, particularly in “food deserts”.
One such food desert is SE Austin. Some neighbors have been vocal about their desires for a full-service grocery store. Well, it looks like they may get their wish. See this Statesman article on H-E-B’s recent purchase of land in SE Austin.
The article notes:
The property H-E-B has purchased in far Southeast Austin is in an area that’s primed for rapid growth. Metrostudy, which tracks the Austin-area market, says 55,916 new homes are in the planning pipeline for that area.
The implication is that H-E-B evaluates possible locations for its stores in terms of expected numbers of households in the area.