H-E-B may be headed to Manor, alongside other retailers and hundreds of apartments

A new mixed-use development planned for eastern Travis County could be anchored by an H-E-B.

Developers have secured a handful of approvals, including an incentives agreement, to aid with the creation of the 95-acre hub for living and shopping in Manor.

Representatives from Butler Family Partnership Ltd. on June 15 discussed the Manor Crossing project, at the northwest corner of U.S. Highway 290 and FM 973, during a Manor City Council meeting. Plans call for 600 multifamily units and up to 425,000 square feet of commercial space.

Council voted to establish a development agreement with Butler Family Partnership., while also approving a concept plan and a Chapter 380 agreement to provide 50% sales and ad valorem tax incentives in return for bringing infrastructure to the commercial portion of the property. The city also approved rezoning the multifamily portion of the tract that the owner plans to convey to a developer.

Plans call for the mixed-use center to be developed in five phases over 18 to 36 months, with a 26.5 acres of multifamily and 16 pad sites for retail, restaurant space and more, according to Council documents. The first portion of Manor Crossing could open in July 2023, with the final portion coming online in June 2025.

Leslie Sweet, H-E-B’s director of public affairs, said that while the company is interested in Manor, it does not have a commitment to build a store at this time. But representatives for the developer said during the meeting one of the large parcels was under contract with H-E-B LP and that The Home Depot Inc. had expressed interest in another, contingent on the approvals, while restaurants and retailers were interested in the smaller pad sites.

“This is the type of high-end development that will both enhance our citizens’ quality of life by providing much-needed shopping and services, as well as providing increased revenues to the city budget for years to come, so it represents a win-win proposition for the city of Manor,” City Manager Scott Moore said in a statement.

The arrival of H-E-B in the small city northeast of Austin would be particularly impactful. The San Antonio-based chain, which is the dominant grocer in the Austin area as well as its largest private-sector employer, is a retail bellwether that is a magnet for other kinds of businesses, from restaurants to health clinics.

The overall project would be a rare large-scale, mixed-use development for Manor. The city had an estimated population of 18,285 in 2021, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and stands in the line of growth east of Austin, in part because of its proximity to the State Highway 130 toll road and Tesla Inc.’s billion-dollar electric vehicle factory.

The area also lacks plentiful grocery options. There are a few smaller grocers as well as a Walmart Inc. store in Manor, while the closest H-E-Bs are in Northeast Austin, Pflugerville and Elgin.

Commercial developments in the pipeline in Manor include custom shipping container manufacturer Falcon Structures expanding its facility to roughly 400,000 square feet, an apartment community from a subsidiary of Zekelman Industries Inc. off East Parmer Lane, Dallas-based Dalfen Industrial LLC’s plans to turn the 146-acre former Manor Downs racetrack into an industrial park of more than 1 million square and a potential Whole Foods Market Inc. distribution center.

Manor Economic Development Director Scott Jones pinned that growth on the city’s favorable demographics.

“The demographics tell the truth,” he said in a statement. “Manor is the place to do business. With a Retail Trade Area population of 76,096, an RTA average household income of over $93,000, 32 year average age, advanced educational attainment of the area’s residents, our workforce training programs and availability, and the explosive growth we’re experiencing in the area, there is no better place in Central Texas to bring your business than to Manor.”

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