$250M proposed redevelopment of The Backyard set for final approvals

Nov 18, 2014
Austin Business Journal

The proposed redevelopment of The Backyard outdoor music venue and adjacent land into an ambitious mixed-use project will get what's believed to be its final review by planning officials in Bee Cave on Tuesday

If approved, the project — which will put a movie production sound stages, music venue and creative office space as well as residential and hospitality uses about 30 minutes southwest of downtown Austin — would require a final approval from the Bee Cave City Council next month

International Development Management, or IDM, is the developer of the project. The Backyard's website that once featured concert listings and other information about the venue has been revamped and touts the future of the property and the adjoining "Terrace" parcel. The site also lists a raft of local companies assisting in the creation of the project including civil engineers and firms handling marketing, landscape architecture and legal services

IDM Principal Chris Milam said the project is planned to feature three film and recording sound stages, two outdoor music venues with capacities of 3,500 and 500 people, a 150-room hotel, 120 condominiums, and 11 office buildings with 700,000 square feet of office space. That's roughly half the size of the nearby Hill Country Galleria

If approved, Milam said construction on the first phase would begin in the second quarter of 2015, with completion roughly two years later. The total cost for both phases is $250 million. Milam said the size of the music venues was decreased from their original concept so promoters could present more intimate, high-quality concerts there. And he said television, commercial and music recording business are projected to be able to fill the calendars at the sound stages without having to attract Hollywood productions to the area

"Everybody zooms in on Hollywood, but in terms of total production television is far bigger — and between commercials, recording and stage rehearsals there will be plenty," he said. "Media production is a $550 billion business globally and there's tons of business already here so we feel really good about the possibility."

Leaders of the nonprofit that runs Austin Studios north of downtown have said the new studios wouldn't infringe on their operations, which is home to movie producers such as Rooster Teeth

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