Skanska Announces East Hampton Sandwich Co. as Tenant in Understory at Capitol Tower

Press release 8/21/2018 8:15 AM EST

Nationally-Acclaimed Upscale Sandwich Shop Coming to the Central Business District in 2019

Skanska announced today the first of seven chef-driven concepts for Understory, the 35,000-square-foot community hub and culinary market at Capitol Tower. The developer has reached a lease agreement with nationally-acclaimed East Hampton Sandwich Co., a Dallas-based upscale sandwich shop known for premium handcrafted offerings like fried chicken sandwiches, lobster rolls and lobster grilled cheese, high-quality casual fare Skanska anticipates will have wide appeal.

East Hampton Sandwich Co. will open its first location in Downtown Houston at Understory’s 9,000-square-foot culinary market when Capitol Tower opens in 2019.

“We are excited to welcome East Hampton Sandwich Co. as the first tenant at Understory, a vibrant new community destination in the heart of Houston’s Central Business District,” said Matt Damborsky, executive vice president for Skanska USA Commercial Development in Houston. “East Hampton Sandwich Co.’s commitment to distinctive and fresh upscale fare make them an ideal addition to Understory’s eclectic food and beverage offerings. We look forward to the opening of their first downtown location, which will be uniquely positioned at the center of Capitol Tower’s five tunnel connections to serve those working, living or visiting Downtown Houston.”

East Hampton Sandwich Co. currently operates two shops inside the Inner Loop in Houston – one in River Oaks District and another on Westheimer in Montrose.

"We chose downtown because our speed of service is so high and when you pair that with gourmet, non-deli meat sandwiches, it's very conducive to the fast pace epicurean lifestyle of those living in the CBD,” said Hunter Pond, owner of East Hampton Sandwich Co. “Our Crescent location in Uptown Dallas is crazy busy, selling around 700 sandwiches a day - so downtown Houston made a lot of sense for us!”

Designed by the Michael Hsu Office of Architecture, Understory will be a dynamic experience-based destination that brings the community together through culture, commerce and cuisine. In addition to an abundance of naturally lit community space and a full-service restaurant, Understory will include a culinary market with seven chef-driven concepts and a cocktail bar. A central feature of Understory is the open-air blending of the street and tunnel levels, facilitated by the “Great Steps,” a 30-foot-wide monumental staircase and gathering place that will create the first true street level gateway to the tunnel network. This gateway will be highlighted by a large hanging art installation that will be visible from Capitol, Rusk, and Milam streets.

Situated at 800 Capitol St. on a prime block in Houston’s Central Business District, Understory’s location near cultural landmarks such as Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, the Alley Theatre, Revention Music Center, Market Square Park and Wortham Theater – and range of thoughtful amenities - ideally position the space to become part of downtown’s vibrant cultural life. Upon its opening in 2019, Understory will be the first space in the tunnel network to be programmed seven days a week, from morning to night, with a wide variety of culinary, retail, and cultural offerings. The community will enjoy access to high-speed Wi-Fi, mobile device charging stations, engaging art, games and thoughtful furniture arrangements, as well as a state-of-the-art fitness center for the exclusive use of building tenants.

With a distinctive design that was inspired by the craft of food, Understory will feature approachable, open cooking concepts with high-end finishes to create an inviting space with sweeping views of the street, tunnel entries and market hall. Kitchens will have a warm, handcrafted look, with artist murals, copper clad kitchen hoods, wood butcher block counter tops and white marble. A wide variety of soft furnishings will create a cohesive, yet layered, experience.

Nick Hernandez, Crystal Allen and Lacee Wilke from Transwestern represented Skanska in the transaction.

When Capitol Tower lights up Houston’s skyline in 2019, it will be the most sustainable office tower in Houston, using 25 percent less energy than typical baseline facilities. Pre-certified under LEED v4 Platinum, one of only four core-and-shell projects nationwide, the 780,000-square-foot sustainable office development, including 26,000 square feet of retail, will feature a number of green amenities, including the SkyPark, the first and largest green roof in Downtown Houston to be open to all building tenants.

Skanska has also developed the first LEED Platinum campus in the Energy Corridor - West Memorial Place - which offers direct access to the Terry Hershey Park hike and bike trails.