The Domain

The Domain is a high-density commercial, retail, and residential development in northwest Austin, Texas. The project’s first phase was finished in March 2007.

Endeavor Real Estate Group, Cousins Properties, Simon Property Group, and Stonelake Capital Partners own and operate it. Union Pacific Railroad borders it on the west, Loop 1 on the west and north, Braker Lane on the south, and Burnet Road on the east.

Preliminary development

The Endeavor Real Estate Group bought the 303-acre (123-hectare) site from IBM in 1999 and Multech in 2002 with financial help from the Blackstone Group and JER Partners. The original idea was to build a campus for the dot-com business, but that fell through when the dot-com bubble burst.

The Simon Property Group and the Endeavor Real Estate Group formed a joint venture in 2003 to construct Phase I of The Domain’s retail section.

Century Oaks Park, a multi-purpose recreational area for IBM employees and their families, was demolished in 2004, and building on the initial 57 acres (23 ha) Domain: Phase I began.

Additional land for The Domain was reclaimed from decommissioned IBM industrial and administrative buildings, as well as roadways and parking spaces from the old IBM complex.

The developers received tax breaks from the City of Austin and Travis County in 2003. The total developer remuneration is limited to a maximum net present value of $25 million. The developer retains 80% of the city’s sales tax for the first five years and 50% for the next fifteen years. Furthermore, the developer receives a 25% property tax discount throughout the full 20-year term. Over the course of the 20-year incentive deal, the city of Austin expects to collect around $40 million in sales and property taxes.

Phase one

The Domain, the first phase of the project, opened on March 9, 2007, with 700,000 square feet (65,000 m2) of restaurants, office space, upmarket retail outlets, residences, and a hotel.

The retail component of the project has drawn numerous new businesses and eateries to the Austin market. 80,000 square feet (7,400 m2). There will be a Neiman Marcus and a Macy’s anchor, as well as 70 specialty stores, including an Apple Store, a Barneys New York CO-OP store, Burberry, Victoria’s Secret, Tiffany & Co., BCBG Max Azria, Calypso Christiane Celle, Anne Fontaine, Lacoste, Lilly Pulitzer, Betty Sport, and a Microsoft store. The retail mall is particularly notable for housing outlets for two new store concepts: Abercrombie & Fitch Co.’s RUEHL 925, which targets wealthy young professionals, and American Eagle Outfitters’ adventure-oriented Martin + Osa. As of late 2010, both of the stores have closed and been replaced by Anthropologie (in the old Ruehl site) and Lids (in the former Martin + Osa location). McCormick & Schmick’s, Fleming’s, Daily Grill, Jasper’s, Kona Grill, The Steeping Room, and California Pizza Kitchen are among the restaurants.

Second phase and further expansion

After purchasing the 45-acre (18-hectare) site that would become The Domain II (Domain Crossing), the Simon Property Group purchased Endeavor’s stake of The Domain I. This second phase opened in the spring of 2008, just south of The Domain.

Domain Crossing expanded its retail, restaurant, and residential space by 350,000 square feet (33,000 m2), as well as a theater – Gold Class Cinema – and other entertainment options.

In the core section of the project, Simon Property Group reported that a 200,000 sq ft (19,000 m2) three-story Dillard’s will open in spring 2009.

Nordstrom has signed a letter of intent to open a two-story, 149,000-square-foot (13,800 m2) shop in phase III of The Domain. Saks Fifth Avenue also agreed to participate in Phase III.

In January 2014, Whole Foods opened a 55,000 square foot (5,100 m2) branch in The Domain.

Simon Property Group created a “fantastic lawn area” in Phase 2 that features live music and food trucks on weekends from 6 to 9 p.m.

Phase three

The third phase of The Domain has 1.4 million square feet of retail, residential, and hotel space. Endeavor’s last retail phase at The Domain, comprising Domain NORTHSIDE and Rock Rose, is included in this space, which is largely filled by local companies. CB2, AT&T, Nordstrom, Restoration Hardware, Archer Hotel Austin, Salvation Pizza, The Dogwood, Sainte Genevieve, Viva Day Spa, East Side King, Lavaca Street Bar, Kung Fu Saloon, and Birds Barbershop are among the particular tenants. Phase 3 will boost the total number of residential units to above 3,000, with the eventual objective of reaching 5,000.

TIER REIT, Inc. (NYSE: TIER) of Dallas owns and operates the majority of the office space at The Domain, including Domain 2 (115,000 square feet), Domain 3 (179,000 square feet), Domain 4 (153,000 square feet), Domain 7 (222,000 square feet), and a 50% interest in Domain 8 (291,000 square feet), which was delivered in the first quarter of 2017 with 98% occupancy. TIER REIT also owns approximately 18 acres of fully entitled property in The Domain, which has the potential to accommodate an additional 1.3 million square feet of future office space. On June 23, 2017, TIER REIT announced the start of construction on Domain 11, a 16-story Class A office building. Construction is expected to begin soon, with a planned delivery date of late 2018. The structure will be roughly 324,000 square feet in size. Endeavor Real Estate Group, located in Austin, owns the Domain 1 and Domain 5 office complexes.

Endeavor retained ownership of Domain NORTHSIDE until mid-2019, when it sold it to Northwood Retail, whereas Simon purchased phases 1 and 2 in 2008.

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