And The Winner Is...

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Last week, H-E-B asked for Montrose residents' votes on the design for the new store that will soon be constructed at West Alabama and Dunlavy. Of the 206 residents that turned out at a neighborhood meeting to cast their vote, 88 went to the winning design seen above: The Pavilion. Houstonians must really like things named after pavilions.

And although none of the three final designs incorporated the parkland aspect that was hoped for by groups like the Montrose Land Defense Coalition, it seems clear that H-E-B is doing its best to listen and respond to residents' concerns, much as it did with the Buffalo Speedway store built last August.

"We were very pleased with the meeting outcome, and received insightful feedback from many Montrose residents," said Scott McClelland, president of H-E-B. "Our next step is to tweak The Pavilion design to incorporate additional design ideas generated at Saturday's meeting. For example, the community collectively requested the use of natural materials and neutral colors on the exterior of the store, as opposed to color."

The Pavilion's layout is designed to maximize land use, even if that use isn't entirely green. McDugald-Steele, a Houston-based landscape architecture firm, has plans to design an "interactive" landscape for the exterior of the new grocery store. This means an outdoor patio with seating as well as an event plaza -- which H-E-B hopes will function as parking space and as a space for artisan markets -- and a bandstand and movie screen that is planned to be used "for evening and weekend entertainment."

The store itself will be 78,000 square feet -- 10,000 square feet larger than the Buffalo Speedway store -- and features as much natural daylight filtering into the store as possible. Designed by architect Lake|Flato, under the direction of Bill Triplett, "The Pavilion features a large raised glass lantern at the store entrance with large extending roof planes that shelter and define outdoor spaces," according to H-E-B. Once the store design is complete, H-E-B plans to apply for LEED certification.

Construction on the new store will break ground in the spring of 2011, with a planned completion date that fall.

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