Domain construction continues in full swing
By the end of 2015, The Domain developer Endeavor Real Estate Group expects to make major headway on several projects it has in the pipeline or under construction.
Of the remaining 100 undeveloped acres, Endeavor plans to build out 80 of those acres and already has design completed for 30 acres.
“If the trajectory the economy is on right now—and the trajectory Austin is on, and the trajectory the Domain is on—continues, I think you’ll see half of this get built and [leased] by the end of 2015,” Endeavor Principal Chad Marsh said. “After that, [construction] won’t be as frenetic as it feels like it is today and like it’s going to be in the next 12 months.”
Marsh said construction could easily continue for another 10 years before The Domain is fully developed.
Endeavor envisions a mixed-use development similar to the existing Domain I development, which is anchored by Macy’s and Neiman Marcus, for the remaining acres. Marsh said the firm has already put down most of the roads on the undeveloped land.
The Domain’s recent construction—which includes Whole Foods Market opening in January, two office projects, two apartment complexes and one hotel—has not always had such momentum. Although construction slowed during the recession, it did not stop. Endeavor picked up the pace on several projects in early 2011.
“You’re now seeing the fruits of that momentum,” Endeavor Principal Ben Bufkin said. “… You’ve got six projects under construction within a 180-acre area. We expect it to be more beyond that.”
Home sweet home
In the past 18 months, 543 residential units—known as Domain Parkside I and II—have been added in The Domain with more planned, Bufkin said. In July, construction began on an apartment project at 3100 Esperanza Crossing that will have 212 units. Endeavor is designing an apartment project near Kramer Lane and Braker Road that will have 325 units.
The Kenzie opens the first of 279 units in November with final completion by next July. Dallas-based StreetLights Residential is developing the project, and Paige Close, senior vice president and director of development, said apartments like The Kenzie usually attract people who work in the technology or creative industries, younger adults and empty-nesters.
“The hallmark of our company is we want to be in urban environments like The Domain,” he said. “We see the value in walking your dog in a safe community, with shopping and a Whole Foods and parks.”
A taste of Austin
Hotel management firm Valencia Group anticipates opening its Domain hotel, Lone Star Court, before the Formula One races Nov. 15–17, said Marcus Latner, who will serve as the hotels’ general manager. He said hotel amenities will include live music in the bar area and are designed to allow guests to enjoy Austin without having to go downtown. The hotel will serve meals all day out of a streamline food trailer.
“The community will have a fun feel,” he said. “You’re not just here alone; you’re here to experience the hotel.”
Latner said Valencia is putting a lot of money into the landscaping by using native trees and shrubs.
“The goal is to get people outside and to enjoy the environment, to get that resort feel that is out of the norm of being [inside],” he said.