The Domain’s most recent office tower project, the rather obviously-named Domain Tower, appeared to distinguish itself from its neighbors in North Austin’s largest mixed-use development by not having a number in its name — but despite this momentary break from the norm, the Domain’s next office tower will fall back in line and take a number. This time, it’s time to say hello to Domain 9.
An application to build the new tower, planned at 2904 Palm Way on the far north end of the 300-acre campus was submitted to the city’s Development Services Department last June for review. The process was quick by Austin standards, considering the project’s developer, TIER REIT Inc., received its site plan permit in late January.
However, TIER REIT is not the developer of Domain Tower — that would be the Austin-based commercial real estate firm HPI Partners, which expects to complete the 11-story Domain Tower any day now for its single tenant, job search giant Indeed. Located northwest of West Braker Lane and Burnet Road, the building’s official grand opening is expected sometime in the second quarter.
Meanwhile TIER REIT’s Austin division, TR Domain LLC, has been waiting on its architect, HKS Inc., to complete the construction documents for Domain 9 — which logically enough will be located right across Palm Way from another TIER REIT property, the 12-story, 291,000-square-foot Domain 8.
Aside from Domain 8, TIER REIT’s existing holdings in The Domain include Domain buildings 2, 3, 4, 7 and Domain Point. Including Domain 9, TIER REIT has plans to construct another six towers. Domain 11 is also already under development.
Documents submitted for Domain 9 describe an 18-story office tower, making this project six stories taller than its TIER REIT next-door neighbor. The parking garage occupies the first nine levels. In a filing with the state, HKS architect Brian Eason described the project as an “18-story shell and core office building, including nine levels of parking garage, ground floor lease space, and site work.”
The 18 stories figure is notable, because there is a discrepancy between this architect’s description, the drawings, and the actual site plan permit, which as of this week states this is a “15-story” building on a 2.54-acre site with approximately 70.47 percent impervious cover.
Allison Lehman, a civil engineer and project manager with Stantec Consulting Services Inc., informed the city that the proposed height is 195 feet, which is more in line with an 18-story structure. Lehman noted in her comments that the “Domain Planned Development Agreement and zoning also allows for increased density for this site that allows for building heights up to 308 feet.”
TOWERS.net asked the city’s case manager, Rosemary Avila, about the discrepancy. She said the “15-story” reference was an error:
“Please note that the approved plans are accurate and are what the inspections are based on. I will reach out to the applicant to see if they would like me to re-issue a revised paper permit.”
— Rosemary Avila
Not that there’s any hurry to clear up these details. HKS gave an estimated construction start date of February 2019, and an estimated completion date of February 2021. However, TIER REIT spokesman Scott McLaughlin qualified the start date estimate, telling TOWERS.net that the timing is “still being determined.”
According to submitted documents, the gross area for office space in the tower is 337,979 square feet and the parking structure is designed to hold more than 1,100 vehicles. HKS projected the construction cost at $72 million.
Unlike Domain 8, which faces Alterra Parkway, Domain 9 will face Palm Way. The site plan shows three curb cuts for vehicular access, with two along Palm Way and one going to Alterra Parkway.
Much of the ground-floor space is dedicated to parking ramps and parking spaces, including 72 parking slots for bicycles. There is also exterior bike parking — 18 spaces on the Burnet Road side of the building and 10 spaces across the driveway entrance by the lobby. A fitness center has been designed into the ground floor’s southeast corner.