Houston Chronicle | 10.10.2019
The 96,000-square-foot store occupies the ground floor of Buffalo Heights, a seven-story apartment, office and retail complex at the corner of Washington and Heights. The store features an expanded prepared food section with grab-and-go meals, rotisserie chicken, sushi, poke bowls and a 15-foot-long salad bar.
"We're trying to cater to the apartment and office crowd," Lisa Helfman, H-E-B's director of public affairs, said during a recent tour. "People want more healthy, grab-and-go options, so we worked hard to provide that here."
H-E-B Buffalo Heights, 3663 Washington, has an urban feel with brick, tile and wood accents, as well as neon and traffic-inspired signage. The full-sized store features a Roastery Coffee Kitchen, a wine- and beer-tasting counter, a bakery and tortilleria, florist, live kitchen demonstrations, an expanded health and bulk food aisle and a pharmacy. It also will offer curbside pick-up as well as home delivery through Favor, Shipt and Instacart.
Customers can park in front of the store where there are 90 parking spots, or drive up to the second floor of the well-lit parking garage where there are more than 200 parking spots with overhead green lights to point out unoccupied spots. The store features two escalators, a separate escalator for shopping carts and three large elevators to move shoppers between the second-floor parking lot and the store.
Similar to H-E-B's double-decker stores in Bellaire and the Heights, H-E-B commissioned an art installation to greet customers at the front entrance of its Buffalo Heights store. Sluice, by local artist Patrick Renner of Flying Carpet Creative, uses recycled wood pieces and molten plastic to create a sliced fruit spurting colorful juice.
The new H-E-B store anchors the first phase of the Buffalo Heights, which includes a 37,000-square-foot office building; St. Andrie, a 230-unit apartment complex; and 2,000-square-feet of additional ground-floor retail. There is no direct entrance into the H-E-B for apartment residents.
BKR Memorial, founded by the Russell and Glenda Gordy family, is developing Buffalo Heights, which will ultimately span 24 acres near Buffalo Bayou Park, Memorial Park, The Heights and the Washington Avenue corridor. Houston-based Midway Cos. is developing the apartment and office buildings. The H-E-B store will be the company's closest to downtown Houston, and is expected to draw customers from several Inner Loop neighborhoods.
H-E-B is also developing stores in Meyerland Plaza and at 288 and McGregor, which are expected to open later this year.