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Welcome to understory

Understory will be downtown Houston’s new destination of crafted amenities and experiences.

Named for the lively space between the forest canopy and underbrush, Understory will be a vibrant, centralized station where Houstonians visit for culture, commerce and cuisine. This expansive forty-foot atrium space, filled with natural light and an abundance of community gathering spaces, truly connects the street level with the tunnels. Understory sits at the base of Capitol Tower, the 35-story Class A office development by Skanska, opening in summer 2019.

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This experienced-based destination is comprised of diverse retail, thoughtful amenities and dynamic open spaces for the local workforce and community to enjoy. Light filled open corridors and multi-levels will bring life to the base of Capitol Tower both day and night. 

Come – grab a bite, stay a while and experience a new side of downtown Houston.  


Featuring eight distinct food experiences, Understory will transform the downtown Houston food scene. Experience local food, custom cocktails and upscale coffee in the midst of a transcending community gathering place. 

The Space

Design by renowned architect, Michael Hsu Office of Architecture, Understory is redefining the downtown Houston tunnel experience. Gone are the dark corridors of yesterday; prepare for light, life and a new place to connect.

With over 10,000 SF of retail, including a chef-driven food market, and 20,000 SF of engaging public space, Understory will be downtown Houston’s gathering place and front door to the tunnel system.

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The Great Steps

Central to the space is “the Great Steps.” Grab a seat, enjoy a coffee, have lunch or hold an impromptu meeting while enjoying performances from local artists. Surrounded by natural light from the 40 foot ceilings, this public space in downtown Houston will be like no other.


Keeping the human scale in mind, Michael Hsu has combined upscale high-end finishes with a contemporary design aesthetic, creating a warm, inviting space.


Destination retail and a diverse mix of delicious fare will make Understory a commercial hub where Houstonians and visitors can explore eclectic flavors, commerce and ideas.

Featuring seven distinct food experiences, as well as a full-service bar in the tunnel and a destination restaurant on the ground floor, Understory will be a food destination not to be missed.



Our Team


At Skanska, our goal is to create compelling environments that enable our customers to thrive. We offer the experience and stability of a self-financed, global company with localized teams attuned to the prime urban markets we serve. Our collaborative approach to development yields inventive solutions tailored specifically to our clients’ needs. We leverage our experience to create emerging sustainable design solutions that enhance the tenant experience, support the environment, and lay the foundation for our customers’ growth. Skanska finances, develops and builds commercial projects ensuring they’re built promptly and decisively, implementing Skanska’s sustainable-design expertise.

Michael Hsu Office of Architecture

Michael Hsu Office of Architecture, formerly Michael Hsu Design Office, was formed in 2005 with the goal of producing locally-engaged, design driven architecture and interiors in Austin. MHOA endeavors to create livable, neighborhood-oriented urban spaces. The firm's work includes diverse projects ranging from mixed-use developments to original commercial interiors and residences.

Contact Us

For Leasing:

Nick Hernandez



Crystal Allen


Lacee Wilke



Greg Mondshine