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North Beaumont seniors want Lucas Drive HEB to stay open - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

North Beaumont seniors want Lucas Drive HEB to stay open

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The Crossing is a brand new senior living community on East Lucas Drive in Beaumont. Opened in September, it's available for those 55 and older. 

Joseph Johnson likes living there because there's an HEB grocery store right down the street.

"If you're right in your own back door, it becomes easy, you don't have to get a lot of groceries everyday, you can get a little bit here, a little bit there," said Johnson.

But HEB says it eventually plans to close this store and the one on 11th Street, in order to open the bigger store they have planned at the old Baptist Hospital lot at the corner of College and 11th. and that has people at The Crossing upset.

"I can't believe they're going to close HEB down because it's such a convenience to this area, we've got only one store and that's HEB," Crossing resident Chester Beckett said.

"Everything else is way out there north, I would have to get a ride and go way across town just to shop," said William Hendrix, another resident of the complex.

Many senior citizens walk or take their motorized scooters to the store, relying on its convenient location. Beaumont City Councilman Audwin Samuel also opposes the closing of the store.
     
"If they were to close the store on Lucas, there would not be a grocery store other than the one on 11th street or even out on 105, the people would not have any place near where they could get those vital goods," Samuel told 12 News HD Tuesday afternoon.

But he also said the decision is ultimately up to HEB. No date has been set for the closing of the stores, something Johnson hopes he never sees.
     
"It should stay... Not only for the sake of the people in this area, but also for the sake of seniors," he said.

Councilman Samuel says he will do all he can to make sure the council knows how important it is to have a grocery store on Lucas drive.

However, the opening of the new store may mean more job opportunities. HEB says the store will employ 300 people, which is 60 more than the combined number of employees at the two locations HEB plans to close. And the company says people currently employed at those two locations will have an opportunity to apply at the new store.  

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