A celebrated Hill Country venue is getting a major transformation. On Saturday, June 24, entrepreneurs John Paul DeJoria and Christopher Milam held the groundbreaking for The Backyard, a "50-acre fully integrated live-work-play creative corporate campus" off Bee Cave Parkway.
The massive multi-use development will feature two live music venues, a recording studio, boutique hotel, several restaurants, luxury residences, and office space.
It is inspired by the original Backyard venue, an amphitheater that hosted the likes of Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, and Paul Simon during its decades-long run. The venue first opened in 1993 at the intersection of Highway 71 and Ranch Road 620 and relocated next to the Hill Country Galleria in 2010, where it thrived for three years.
The legacy of The Backyard will live on as the Live Oak Amphitheater, an outdoor music venue with a capacity of 3,410. A second venue on the new complex, the Glenn, will be a more intimate space for concerts and private events.
"We are creating a special place for local residents and visitors to experience the beauty of sound within the beauty of the Texas Hill Country," says DeJoria. "This project, once completed, will bring a storied Austin venue back to the community and create a totally unique lifestyle around it."
There will be several bars and restaurants on the property. Bloom, The Backyard's flagship eatery, promises seasonal cuisine supported by an onsite garden and apiary. Other concepts announced so far include Rise, a coffee shop, and Above, a party venue.
As for accommodations, visitors can look forward to staying at a four-star resort, The Nelson. The hotel will offer 125 rooms centered around a pool, as well as a professional music recording studio and a salon/spa that will be open to the public.
Austinites can take up residence at Ethan's View Condominiums and Townhomes. The luxury one-, two-, and three-bedroom units range from $400,000 up to $2 million. Amenities include a pool, fitness area, entertainment deck, community garden plots, and easy access to hiking trails that crisscross The Backyard.
There will be six office buildings onsite, totaling 334,800 square feet. Two data centers will be available for secure storage; and the entire development will be powered by the Backyard Microgrid, which will make use of Austin Energy, gas-fired generators, fuel cells, and natural gas.
DeJoria and Milam are joined by developers IDM and Austin-based architects Bercy Chen Studio; Dick Clark + Associates; and Steinbomer, Bramwell & Vrazel Architects.
The first phase of construction, which includes the dining concepts, data centers, and several office buildings, is slated to be complete at the end of 2018. The music venues and residences should be complete in early 2019, and the hotel will follow later that year.
"As residents and visitors flock to the Texas Hill Country, the development of this creative campus will bring thousands of jobs to the area and drive millions of dollars in new tax revenue for our city and the region annually," says the mayor of Bee Cave, Caroline Murphy, in a release.
"The Backyard will also further position our community as a destination and a lifestyle that is both unique and authentic to the region, while also maintaining Bee Cave's long-standing legacy of live entertainment."