Austin's Domain NORTHSIDE Strikes a Nerve with the Community

Austin's Domain NORTHSIDE Strikes a Nerve with the Community

Austin’s melanated community is has recently been shocked and disappointed by Domain NORTHSIDE, after a copy of the retail epicenter’s 2017 leasing brochure gained circulation across the general public and gave readers an idea of who they want roaming their wares.

The practical mini-city settled in Austin’s affluent northwest corridor sits on approximately 304 acres and boasts 5,000 residential units and 775 hotel rooms, all suited to comfortably accommodate Austinites with annual incomes north of $90,000. During 2017, Domain NORTHSIDE’s leasing brochure gave potential businesses a mental image of “the quintessential Domain Northside shopper,” which alienated major communities in the Austin area.

 The page within Domain NORTHSIDE's 2017 Leasing Brochure that has caused insult to many people of color in Austin and surrounding areas specifically excludes people of color from their image of the ideal shopper.

The page within Domain NORTHSIDE's 2017 Leasing Brochure that has caused insult to many people of color in Austin and surrounding areas specifically excludes people of color from their image of the ideal shopper.

“The quintessential Domain Northside shopper,” the brochure reads. “She’s a classy, trendy, well-heeled woman between 30 and 60 years old. She:

  • Cares about how she looks and feelsm and spends generously on the upkeep of herself and her family;

  • Is understated, but whats to be noticed, and wears vbrands that earn positibe attention from others;

  • Carries a Louis Vuitton, Celine, or Givenchy handbag;

  • Wears rag & bone skinny jeans and Frye boots during the day, and changes into an LBD and Jimmy Choo heels at night;

  • Drives a BMW 6 Series to go out with her girlfriends at night, and by day she drives a Range Rover Sport;

  • Wears a David Yurman ring, an Alexis Bittar Bracelet, and Kendra Scott earrings;

  • Is most likely to describe her ethnicity as Anglo, Jewish, or Asian;

  • Is married, but also highly successful in her own career.”

Austinites have been quick to call out the shopping center for its insensitivity in alienating large communities in the city, particularly people of color and those who have less expendable cash in a city where the median household income is approximately $55,000.

 Although Domain NORTHSIDE and Northwood Retail say that the brochure's wording doesn't reflect their values, the closes they came to including Black women in their marketing snapshot is on the last page, which features photos in front of Austin's iconic "i love you so much" mural — which is not located within Domain Northside.

Although Domain NORTHSIDE and Northwood Retail say that the brochure's wording doesn't reflect their values, the closes they came to including Black women in their marketing snapshot is on the last page, which features photos in front of Austin's iconic "i love you so much" mural — which is not located within Domain Northside.

“STOP SPENDING OUR DOLLARS WHERE THEY ONLY HAVE VALUE BECAUSE IT'S GREEN,” exclaimed Harker Heights resident and author Phoenix J. Ma’ri on a Facebook post detailing the brochure. “We are so busy building up companys and businesses because of a name we forgot "OURS" IS being left to die. "I don't shop Melanated Businesses just because it's Melanated" this is why "THEY" feel this can be said. Ughhhhhh, I'm tired of this!

Domain NORTHSIDE and Northwood Retail have released a joint statement on the situation, apologizing for the brochure and its insensitive nature.

“At Domain NORTHSIDE, we are proud to serve the residents of the Austin community and sincerely apologize for the insensitive and inappropriate language used in a document, which has since been removed from circulation and is no longer in use,” the statement reads. “These words do not reflect our values, and we remain dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion. We will ensure that future efforts reflect the values of the community in which we live and work.”

At the time of publication, neither entity has responded to follow-up questions from Black Texas regarding the brochure and future plans.

Nick Bailey is a forward thinking journalist with a well-rounded skill set including writing, design, and photography. Nick now resides in Austin, TX after earning a degree in Mass Communication with an emphasis on journalism from Texas A&M University—Commerce.