July 2013 Mueller Update

Written by Rick Krivoniak

Things change. The H-E-B grand opening is now scheduled for Friday, July 26th at 6 AM! Store hours are 6AM to midnight, and the pharmacy – with drive-through – will be open 9AM to 9PM. The 85.000± square-foot Mueller H-E-B is apparently about 25% larger than Hancock Center’s store (though every inquiry yields a different number on Hancock). The store is fully hired and all employees are in training or working at other locations to be ready for a flawless opening event.

Unique in all the H-E-B chain, the Café Mueller is a full restaurant that will have a distinct entry and be open from 10AM to 10PM. You’ll order at the counter, be given a number and then served at your table. Live music will be featured each day of the grand opening weekend, but subsequent gigs, typically Fridays and/or Saturdays, will be determined by customer demand. Along with the chef-crafted menu items, the Cafe’s bar will serve up Texas-brewed beers on tap, a selection of bottled beers, and wine by the glass.

Calah Peace, H-E-B’s first ever community coordinator who spoke at the May WPNA meeting, has been promoted to San Antonio headquarters. Many local groups will be looking to meet her replacement to take advantage of H-E-B’s well-known philanthropy. Details on use of the store’s 40-person community meeting room are being finalized, but it’s only open to non-profit organizations, and no outside food or beverages are allowed. H-E-B’s eight fuel-service pumps are just off the Market District’s 51st Street driveway, but the two electric-vehicle charging stations are conveniently located nearer to the store.

The Pike Powers Laboratory & Center for Commercialization lab officially opened on June 11th. Named for the Austin attorney/entrepreneur who helped make the city an internationally recognized high-tech mecca, and owned and operated by UT-based Pecan Street Inc., the $1.5 million facility performs globally cutting-edge research, aiding multiple companies in the testing, verifying and development of efficient consumer products and energy-use technology. It is located on Berkman immediately across from the Mueller control tower. For more information, visit www.pikepowerslab.com.

Catellus has engaged a national parking consultant to study existing and future parking needs at Mueller. Windsor Park and other neighborhoods were invited to a focus group on June 18th with existing property owners and visitors to the area, both residential and commercial, to learn more about the parking dynamics at Mueller from the stakeholders’ perspective. A public workshop will be held later in the process to broadly share ideas and get further input.

WPNA members voted at the June meeting to send a letter to the Mueller Home Depot management, asking that access from the main parking area to the store’s driveway on 51st Street nearest IH35 be blocked to prevent vehicles from exiting the driveway and wedging into westbound cars waiting at the signal, or dangerously crossing five traffic lanes to reach Cameron Road. The driveway must remain open for loading dock access, and customers may still enter there and reach the main parking lot via a one-way eastbound drive that parallels 51st Street. At a minimum, WPNA requested a “NO LEFT TURN” sign for vehicles exiting the driveway.

Please be cautious at the new intersections that come with the opening of Berkman Drive and Barbara Jordan Boulevard. Traffic signalization must wait until the number of state-mandated auto trips flow through an intersection, so in many cases, stop signs will be the mode of intersection traffic control for the foreseeable future.

There is no July RMMAPIAC meeting. The next meeting is Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at 6PM in Meeting Room 1 of the Carver Library, 1161 Angelina Street. Please send Mueller-related questions & comments to .

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