The Houston City Council approved spending millions to buy a property in the Third Ward with the goal of using the land to build a grocery store.
The nine acre property is located at the corner of Texas Highway 288 and North MacGregor Way and it is owned by Houston Community College (HCC).
The City of Houston will pay HCC more than 13.8 million dollars using federal funds.
After that, the City will sublease the property to H-E-B, which will build a 72 thousand square foot supermarket.
Lisa Johnson, who lives in the neighborhood, welcomes the project because “I’ll be able to get to the grocery store a lot easier, a lot faster.”
Council Member Greg Travis opposed the deal during the Council session noting that the neighborhood where the land is located, although it is a low to moderate income part of town, is not considered a food desert.
According to the federal government, a food desert is an area where at least 500 people or a third of the population live more than a mile away from the closest large grocery store.
“When I see the fact that this is not actually a food desert, and we do have food deserts in this city, I’m wondering why we’re doing that in this area when there are true food deserts,” Travis told Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and members of the Council.
Travis ultimately voted against the measure, along with Council Member Larry Green.
Turner says he expects to complete the purchase in the next 90 to 120 days.