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BEE CAVE, TX-A deal has been ironed out between developers and the Village of Bee Cave that could result in a high-end shopping center for the small community west of Austin.

The village’s board of aldermen and its zoning and planning commission are set to vote June 25 on the development agreement in a joint meeting. A town meeting may be held June 24 to give residents the opportunity to speak.

If the agreement is approved, the Hill Country Galleria would have 2.3 million sf in an open-air retail center anchored by high-end department stores and hotel facilities. That’s down from the original proposal of 3.6 million sf and excludes multifamily components.Developers Austin-based International Development Management and Dallas-based Lincoln Properties would be eligible to recoup up to $30 million of its investment through the sharing of sales taxes if the project meets the village’s expectations.

The developers are to build Galleria Parkway to connect Bee Cave Road and RM 620. They also will provide a 50-acre municipal park and devote 15,000 sf of the center for municipal use, probably a library. The developers will purchase an additional 370 acres to reduce its impervious coverage.

“We’re doing a lot of stuff, really a lot of stuff,” says Chris Milam of International Development. He says the project can afford the changes, mainly because of the lack of competition for a super-regional shopping center in the area. “If there were any other major retail venues in town that were competitive, the deal probably couldn’t get done,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “There’s a big, gaping hole in the market which has provided a tremendous amount of tenant demand.”

In-line retailers are ready to sign up for the project now, he says. The key to the deal will be the department stores. The target list includes Neiman Marcus and Lord & Taylor. “The department stores have to come or we don’t have a deal,” Milam says. “So far we have real strong interest, but it’ll be a year before we know who we can get and who we can’t.”

If the development lands Neiman Marcus, the developers’ share of sales taxes goes up to $30 million. “Their objective is to try to push the bar as high was possible so that development that comes after the Galleria” is just as good,” Milam says.

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