New masters of the Domain: Endeavor scours country to secure cool brands

Domain Northside is gearing up for its official debut Sept. 30 with dozens of new stores that are new to Austin, with some new to Texas.

Jeff Newberg, principal of Endeavor Real Estate Group, recently provided me with exclusive access to the new retail development and insight into how the company envisioned the shopping district — one of the remaining parcels of land in the 305-acre mixed-use development in North Austin.

Located near the intersection of Domain Drive and Domain Boulevard close to Whole Foods Market, Domain Northside presents a different, though complementary, shopping experience from The Domain regional shopping center. That 1.1 million-square-foot retail center is owned and operated by Simon Property Group, Endeavor’s original partner in the launch of The Domain back in the mid-2000s.

Now the two companies are going head to head in the quest for consumers’ dollars.

The Domain is dominated by large format anchors such as Dillard’s, Macy’s and Neiman Marcus, but Domain Northside also will feature a significant department store brand.

Nordstrom will open its second Austin store at Domain Northside. The emphasis here, however, is on more exclusive or trendy businesses that have been carefully curated by Newberg and his team. With a special assist from Ben Bufkin, Newberg has traveled far and wide — from New York to California — to recruit some of the coolest retailers in the world.

Pirch, a San Diego-based kitchen-bath-outdoor showroom concept, for example. And Sprinkles, the Beverly Hills, California cupcake brand, along with Kittsona, a retailer from that quirky state — “Yah, y’betcha yah” — of North Dakota.

Robust sales

Still, some of the most unique brands are Austin born and bred. All natural beauty products company W3ll People will have a storefront, as will lingerie purveyor Teddies for Bettys and Eliza Page, the local jewelry designer.

Rock Rose, a street within Domain Northside, already is alive with restaurants, bars and retail stores. Since the beginning of the year, The Dogwood and Kung Fu Saloon have racked up some of the highest liquor sales in the city.

Such robust sales bode well for the estimated 75 retailers that are projected to open at Domain Northside by the end of the year.

The new retail district is scheduled to be mostly finished next summer with as many as 100 stores, which includes a wide mix of of restaurants and the Archer Hotel, a boutique inn with Austin design flair.

About 235,000 square feet of creative office space rounds out the real estate mix. That space is already 100 percent occupied.

Just 85,000 square feet of the 625,000 square feet of retail space is still available for lease.

A strong part of the appeal, Newberg said, has been the thoughtful juxtaposition of diverse architecture from multiple designers. Endeavor also invested significantly in mature landscaping.

Store placement is another key ingredient, he said. Home furnishing and design stores are grouped together for the convenience of destination shoppers. Fashion tenants are located in the center of the district — pulling visitors deep into the heart of the development.

Newberg likens the vibe to Abbot Kinney Boulevard, an appealing retail stretch in Venice, California — a beach suburb of Los Angeles.

Domain Northside, Newberg said, will become the front door of The Domain with motorists entering from North MoPac Expressway frontage road at Domain Boulevard.

An ample interior park near Palm Way and Rock Rose is expected to become another hub of activity.

“This will be a great public space. This is where the energy will be,” Newberg said.

To see a list of all the new retailers, visit AustinBusinessJournal.com, and type “Domain” into the search tab.

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