In the bag: Remember that grocery gossip making the rounds in March that H-E-B planned to replace its existing Texas City store, 918 20th St. N., with a bigger, better one at Palmer Shopping Center? Mayor Matt Doyle confirmed Monday that the San Antonio-based grocer indeed does plan to demolish the 87,237-square-foot building at Palmer Shopping Center, just east of Highway 146 and north of Palmer Highway, and build a new store in its place.

“I’m thrilled H-E-B plans to build a new store here,” Doyle said.

But don’t look for the wrecking ball to make an immediate appearance. Demolition could be more than a year out, Doyle said.

H-E-B in 2011 bought the Palmer Shopping Center property — long ago occupied by Kmart. No word on what will become of the 20th Street site where H-E-B operates an older, dated store. Stay tuned.

Sixth sense: There’s a new place to sip a cold one. Readers are happily reporting the soft opening of America’s Icehouse, 622 Sixth St. N., in Texas City.

Scott Arnold owns the establishment, a modular structure built from shipping containers. The outdoor bar offers moderately priced drinks, movies on two big outdoor screens, live music and karaoke, a free putting green, games and more.

America’s Icehouse has joined a growing lineup of businesses and retailers helping to revive an area that was, in its heyday, the city’s retail center. Other relatively new Sixth Street businesses include El Cubano Cigars, 520 Sixth St. N., and antique shop Timeless Treasures, 524 Sixth St.

Businesswoman Georgia Meyer is renovating a building at 811 Sixth St. N. that’s more than 100 years old. Meyer, who with Bonnie Baty owns the popular Karat Creations Jewelry, 3228 13th Ave. N., in Texas City, plans to renovate the top floor, adding lofts.

But first, she’ll restore and improve the 11,000-square-foot bottom floor and lure new tenants to the building that already is home to Mainland Pharmacy, Friendly Loan Service and Dr. Avelina S. Dimaandal’s pediatrics office.

Meyer and Baty plan to move Karat Creations Jewelry to the building. Sydney’s Boutique, 2809 Palmer Highway, in Texas City, also will move into the building. And a hair salon and day spa will move in, Meyer said. The new tenants, including Karat Creations, are expected to be in by late summer.

Yellowbrick road: Developers of the proposed Adventure Pointe on 35 acres south of Tanger Outlets, 5884 Interstate 45 in Texas City, said they’ve added a “Land of Oz” feature to the park’s four main theme areas. They also said work on the theme park is expected to begin by the year’s end, developers posted on Facebook.

As previously reported, the venue will include vintage trains, an “iceless” skating rink, zip lines, go-carts and a 60-room hotel owned and operated by an established chain, not the park, a spokeswoman said.  

The entertainment core will include an amphitheater and two-sided stage, and there’ll be line dancing, two-stepping and concerts, according to representatives for the development.

Dr. Harvey E. Slusky is the development’s mastermind. His father, Louis Slusky, operated two separate Playland amusement parks — one in Houston and another in Galveston in the late 1940s. Stay tuned.

Cold dish: Meanwhile, rumors that casual restaurant chain Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill was planning a restaurant near Tanger Outlets have gone from sizzle to fizzle. Sources in the know said officials with Applebee’s were “kicking the tires” around Tanger a while back, but nothing came of the scouting missions.

False alarm: That rumor making the rounds that owners of the Fort Crockett military housing complex at Seawall Boulevard and 45th Street on the island had obtained permits to demolish the old buildings is false. City officials last week said Max Bowen Enterprises had not obtained any permits. As previously reported, owners are asking $10 million for the parcel visible from the seawall.

A few years ago, such an asking price might have been ambitious considering restrictions, including the preservation and maintenance of former military housing on the 6.4-acre parcel. But all that changed earlier this year when the Texas Historical Commission said it wouldn’t appeal a judge’s dismissal of a lawsuit seeking to force preservation of the buildings, clearing the way for demolition.

In 2011, the Texas Attorney General’s Office claimed owners of the historic property had violated deed covenants by failing to maintain and preserve the buildings, indicating an intent to demolish them without state permission.

Neither city officials nor the nonprofit Galveston Historical Foundation has authority to protect the historic structures. But the Texas Historical Commission, holder of the federal covenant, did have a say.

Biz Buzz

Laura Elder is a reporter for The Daily News. Biz Buzz appears Tuesdays and Thursdays. Email your tips and suggestions to laura.elder@galvnews.com.

(10) comments

Jake Feigle

That will be a big loss during the time of construction. That will force me to shop at Krogers more. I would have to go to Santa Fe or League City to shop HEB.

DonnieB

Earlybird, they will be taering down the old K-mart, not the current HEB. I would guess that would be open until the new one is built. And HEB is currently building a new store off of Hwy 96 across from the Kroger on South Shore. It's deeper and not as wide as the one on I-45 and 646. For the new TC store, they own the old K-mart and strip center next door, which will be demolished. To me, they need more space than that. It may not be a full size store. If they could take out part of the strip center to the right, it would give them more room, but at an additional cost. We shall see what the outcome will be!

DonnieB

I like the new America's Icehouse. I prefer to sit outside rather than in a smoke filled bar. It's still a work in progress, but it's looking good. They have added the steel dart boards and , I was told, will be adding other activities like bag toss and I think washers. He has projection TVs (working on getting them to work) and will show football games, or anything else they may come up. I'm sure he'd be open to suggestions, fight night, Astros games maybe, whatever. And he did say he's looking for some good bands to play, so if you know of some, send them over to talk.
As for the Adventure Pointe, the Wizard of Oz section sounds good. Maybe have a yellow brick road going thru the whole section with some wild exotic colorful looking trees. They are putting a lot into research, which is good. Its' better than throwing it up half-hazard and quick, and than it flop and be an eyesore. Build it to last for several generations, if possible. What I'm curious about is the parking and the traffic situation. Texas City has done nothing to help the flow of traffic at the I-45 and Holland Road intersection. The line, on weekends, to leave Bucees and go north on I-45 is way too long and a turn-off for customers. Maybe put up a traffic light on both sides, at least. That's my 2 cents for the week!

rah

Will the new HEB be a pantry which does not feature some of the middle end items or departments? A deli, bakery, and AND a store like the one 646 would be GRAND!
The Krogers is outdated.

lauraelder
Laura Elder

H-E-B discontinued the Pantry concept a few years back and replaced it with the larger store format. I haven't gotten any word on exactly what type of store they will build, but as soon as I know, I'll buzz it.

sverige1
Lars Faltskog

And with all this talk about another HEB on the mainland...we still are without a new one on the island since Ike.

THAT should earn a Bum Steer award. [thumbdown]

DonnieB

With this new one to be built in Texas City, they have plenty to cover the mainland. I would assume Galveston would be next. Only thing is, I don't think they can build it next to Krogers there. They just built a new HEB in Pearland next to a Krogers. They are building one now on Hwy 96 across the street from Kroger. And the one to be built in Texas City, will be across the street from Krogers. lol It might break their trend, I'm thinking, if they can't build next to Krogers in Galveston. Someone at Krogers must have really pissed of the CEO at HEB. :-)

Steve Fouga

Lars, what do you prefer in an HEB that Randall's and Kroger doesn't offer? Or is it that you wish they had some competition?

To me unless its one of the big flagship stores, an HEB is just like every other grocery store. On the other hand, a flagship store is almost a Central Market!

sverige1
Lars Faltskog

Well, Jake. I happen to like many of the HEB store brands that Kroger simply still doesn't have. For example, HEB has their store brand of diet strawberry soda called "Wild Red" diet. I typically don't get the Big Red name brand because of the expense.

Other items that HEB has that are excellent store brands are their ice cream, Nature's Own breads, etc. It's really a shame that one of the oldest cities in TX (Galveston) can't "rate" enough for HEB (a Texas tradition) to return. Don't get me wrong: Krogers has a lot of good things, but yes...the competition could only benefit us all on the island.

Andy Aycoth

Would like to see an HEB Central Market come to Galveston County.

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