COPPERAS COVE — Five Hills shopping center contractors are switching from moving dirt to erecting buildings for the first phase of the commercial retail property’s development.

“The majority of site work has been completed for both the H-E-B portion and adjoining retail,” said Daniel Campbell, development associate with Endeavor Real Estate, the company in charge of developing about 128 acres on East Highway 190. “H-E-B is starting construction of their building. We will start construction of our adjacent 35,000 square feet (of buildings) this week.”

The grocery store chain is about three weeks into construction of its facility, which will be a more than 100,000-square-foot H-E-B Plus, said Tamra Jones, a spokeswoman for the company.

“We have broken ground, and we are doing a lot of the field work but currently, this week and last, we have constructed steel columns, and we have also begun the truck dock retaining wall, which is behind the store.”

The store’s builder is working on plumbing lines for the facility, Jones said.

Since construction started in February, the first major step of the project — installing the water and wastewater mains — has passed its major inspections, said Polo Enriquez, executive director of the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation, which funded the main infrastructure pipes for Five Hills. The lines will serve the entire shopping center plus future areas the corporation hopes to develop.

“Having the utilities will allow our buildings to receive certificates of occupancy,” said Campbell. “We’ll also have to complete the construction of shell buildings, which started (last) week. Once the city has inspected the buildings and made sure the plumbing meets codes, then they give a certificate of occupancy, which allows us to open for business.”

Opening to the public is several months away, but Campbell anticipated walls will start going up on the adjacent building spaces later this month.

“There will be one 15,000-square-foot building and one 20,000-square-foot building,” he said. “The number of tenants is undetermined. As businesses show interest, we’ll divide space according to tenants who lease space.”

H-E-B already has a projected opening date for its facility.

“We began our construction in late July and our expected opening is in February,” Jones said. “We have been moving dirt for awhile out there.”

Campbell said he was unable to announce any other businesses that have shown interest in opening at Five Hills.

He said the buildings’ construction will be made of concrete and have a facade faced with brick that follows a “distinctive architectural theme.”

“We have a landscape plan for the shopping center that will make this a place that’s special in Copperas Cove,” he said. “It’s a little different and more cohesive than typical shopping centers throughout (the) Hill Country.”

In addition to the shopping center, Endeavor is developing five pad sites along the U.S. 190 frontage road where businesses such as restaurants and banks can build during the first phase of development. Second and third phases are planned as the market dictates.

Contact Audrey Spencer at or (254) 501-7476. Contact Mason W. Canales at or (254) 501-7474.

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