H-E-B's massive new East Austin office has opened less than a year after the San Antonio-based grocery chain announced plans for the innovative space, as well as hundreds of new jobs to go along with it. The Eastside Tech Hub, located at 2416 E. Sixth St., near Pedernales Street, serves as an office space for the grocery chain's digital team and headquarters for Austin-based Favor, the delivery service app H-E-B acquired in February 2018.
IA Interior Architects was tasked with redesigning an existing warehouse, eventually creating an 81,000-square-foot, open-concept space, complete with more than 50 meeting rooms, state-of-the-art video and technology capabilities, events space, lounge area, and coffee bar.
H-E-B, one of Texas' most famous brands, cleverly incorporated its Lone Star heritage into the design. Meeting rooms are named after H-E-B brand products and Texas landmarks and cities; decorative brick and tile were sourced from the company's hometown of San Antonio; furniture was produced in Marfa; plants were sourced from around the state; and artists, such as Will Bryant, R.F. Alvarez, and Cody Barber, created murals and original artwork for the space.
Since this is Austin, and it's 2019, and Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop empire is set to rule us all, the office also comes equipped with a "wellness center featuring a rock-climbing wall, curated fitness classes, bike parking, and showers," says a release. (Snooty asides, uh, aside, this is actually a great perk.) The release also points out that the new office is within walking distance to the East Seventh Street H-E-B, currently undergoing a major renovation to create a "world-class shopping experience."
In a previous release, the company said it would add several hundred new jobs in conjunction with the Eastside Tech facility. An H-E-B rep says the company "has hired hundreds" and is continuing to recruit talent in both the new Austin digital offices and the company's San Antonio headquarters.
“The Eastside Tech Hub enables us to have a strong tech presence in both Austin and San Antonio, while fostering a better connection between our teams across the two cities," says Jag Bath, H-E-B chief digital officer and Favor CEO, in a release.
To continue fostering that Austin-San Antonio connection, H-E-B is also rolling out a free, Wi-Fi-enabled shuttle service between the two cities during the work week.
H-E-B is also celebrating this connection by donating $100,000 to Austin- and San Antonio-based STEM summer camps and programs.
“As a digital retail leader, this dynamic workplace reflects our commitment to better serve our people and communities," Bath continues. "Investing in our schools and children allows us to help build the next generation of technology innovators right here in Texas.”