The Domain area is 303 acres (123 ha) property which was purchased from IBM by the Endeavor Real Estate Group in 1999 and from Multech, and the financial assistance is supported by the Blackstone Group and JER Partners.The initial plan had been created for a campus for the dot-com industry but those plans fell through when the dot-com bubble tandem.
In 2003, the Simon Property Group and the Endeavor Real Estate Group entered into a collaborative partnership to develop The Domain. In 2004 the demolition of Century Oaks Park, a multi-purpose recreational facility for IBM employees and their families began construction on the initial 57 acres (23 ha) Domain: Phase I.
The Domain’s additional land is being reasserted from vacant IBM manufacturing and administrative buildings, Also driveways and parking lots that were once part of the original IBM campus.
Tax subsidies is given to the developer in 2003 from the City of Austin and Travis County. Compensation of the total developer is a maximum of a net present value of $25 million. The developer keeps 80 percent of this for the first five years and 50 percent for the next 15 years. Also, 25 percent of the property tax is reduced to the developer for the entire 20-year period. The city of Austin expects to take in about $40 million in sales and property taxes over the 20 years of the incentive agreement.
The Domain phase I is opened on March 9, 2007, and includes 700,000 square feet (65,000 m2);
- office space
- upscale retail stores
And also 70 specialty stores include;
- a Barneys New York CO-OP store
- Victoria’s Secret
- Tiffany & Co.
- BCBG Max Azria
- Calypso Christiane Celle
- Anne Fontaine
- Lilly Pulitzer
- Betty Sport
- Microsoft store
The shopping center is containing outlets for two new store concepts;
- McCormick & Schmick’s
- Daily Grill
- Kona Grill
- The Steeping Room
- California Pizza Kitchen
Second phase and additional expansion
After the Simon Property Group obtained the 45 acres (18 ha) property which became The Domain II (Domain Crossing). The second phase of Domain is opened in spring 2008 and located in south of The Domain I.
All the remaining 178 acres (72 ha) is owned by Endeavor and Deutsche Bank. Domain Crossing which is 350,000 square feet (33,000 m2) includes;
- retail stores
- a theater - Gold Class Cinema
- other entertainment options
Fiat of Austin is also opened in Spring 2011.
three-story Dillard’s that is 200,000 sq ft (19,000 m2) is opened in spring 2009 in the primary portion of the project. Nordstrom is going to be a two-story, in 149,000-square-foot (13,800 m2) land in The Domain’s phase III. Also, Saks Fifth Avenue will open in Phase III.
The other store which is going to be opened in The Domain in 2013 is Whole Foods which would be 55,000 square feet (5,100 m2) square foot.
” Brian Rodgers, leader of Stop Domain Subsidies, sued the City of Austin and Endeavor Real Estate Group in 2004, claiming Endeavor purposely mislead the city in order to receive what he argued amounted to $65 million in tax subsidies. The suit was settled out of court, with the settlement allowing the City of Austin to back out of deal with no penalties. Eventually, the local newspaper verified that the original claim that the subsidy was only $25 million was false and that, according to their figures, it could amount to $57 million. (Austin American-Statesman newspaper, Oct. 26, 2008). Stop Domain Subsidies launched a petition drive in 2007 to put an initiative on the city ballot to stop the city from granting any city tax subsidies for developments with retail uses. The charter amendment, which would have prevented the city from giving tax incentives to retail projects, appeared on the ballot for the November 2008 election as Proposition 2 but was ultimately defeated by a margin of 4%. In the run-up to the election, on September 2008, a political action committee named Keep Austin’s Word was started by Betty Dunkerley, a former member of the Austin City Council. Keep Austin’s Word was primarily funded by the developer’s of The Domain, including Simon Properties, the largest mall developer in the United States. Rodgers, together with independent political activist, Linda Curtis, went on to found ChangeAustin.org, which is continuing efforts to organize a political voice for local Austin businesses and reform minded voters.”