KILLEEN, TX — H-E-B announced it will be closing its downtown Killeen store.
In a press release, the company said it was closing the location due to changing market conditions along with the need for facility renovations at the 60-year-old store.
The decision has upset many people in the neighborhood.
“H-E-B prides themselves on being Texas Made you know, so us being apart of Texas they would listen to our cries for help,” said Wendy Iokia, of Killeen.
The chief concern surrounds transportation.
"Not everyone has transportation. A lot of us walk or take a cab. Without that store, we’ll have to go to South Killeen,” said Devon Colenso, of Killeen,
H-E-B said the location was build in 1958 and is one of the smallest and oldest stores in the company.
All 53 employees will be offered an equivalent position at nearby stores, the company announced.
“We’re purchasing 1,000 bus passes to hand out to area residents, we’re increasing our support to the non-profits that hand out food and care for families in the downtown area and we’re also launching a free mobile food pantry, large scale food distribution at our store property starting the week after we close,” said Leslie Sweet, HEB, Director of Public Affairs.
HEB also waived their delivery fees for all Killeen residents for the remainder of the year.
“Many concerns remain that north Killeen is trending towards turning into a food desert. Residents of North Killeen shouldn’t have to drive to South Killeen for groceries and daily essentials,” City Councilmember Gregory Johnson said in a statement on social media.
The store, which is located at 809 North Gray Street, is scheduled to close on Sunday, October 20.