Austin’s old ‘Graffiti Park’ site proposed for two-part, 22-condo development

Austin's "Graffiti Park" was a popular community asset until its closure in 2018. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin's "Graffiti Park" was a popular community asset until its closure in 2018. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)

Austin's "Graffiti Park" was a popular community asset until its closure in 2018. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)

The site once occupied by Austin’s nationally popular HOPE Outdoor Gallery, known locally as "Graffiti Park," is proposed to soon host 22 three-bedroom condos in a two-part development, according to city planning documents.

Although completely fenced off, artifacts from the property’s days as an urban graffiti lab—slabs of brightly colored concrete and spray paint cans—remain on the sloping tract of land at 1006 Baylor St. In 2018, the Austin Historic Landmark Commission approved the demolition of the popular park, which operated on private land since the park opened as a South by Southwest Conference & Festivals exhibit in 2011. HOPE Outdoor Gallery is set to reopen later this year at 9507 Sherman Road, on Carson Creek Ranch in East Austin, close to the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

The concrete slabs at the former site of the park, which appeared perfectly placed for the purpose of graffiti, were leftovers of a failed multifamily development from the 1980s. Now, the property is poised for another multifamily attempt, with the Colorfield and Castle East condominium developments proposed for the tract. The Austin Planning Commission will vote on zoning changes for both developments during its Jan. 28 meeting.

The Colorfield development, planned for the sloping section of the property at 1006 Baylor St., proposes 10 three-bedroom condos. The three-story complex would run atop a proposed parking garage. According to city documents, Colorfield LLC is listed as the project owner, headed by Bryan Cumby, the president and CEO of Austin-based Mid-City Development.

The Castle East development proposes 12 three-bedroom condos for what was the flatter, top section of Graffiti Park. The tract is mapped at 1109 W. 11th St., next to the historic Texas Military Institute Castle, a 150-year-old structure overlooking the old Graffiti Park toward North Lamar Boulevard. Victor Ayad of Castle Hill Partners is listed as the owner of property, according to city documents.

The owners of both properties are seeking zoning changes to allow for greater height entitlements. According to city documents, the neighborhood has voiced concerns that the development will block the view of downtown, as well as the view of the Texas Military Institute Castle from downtown. The Castle East developers in the zoning change proposal said the 12-unit condo complex will be designed in a way to “reduce impacts on nearby properties.”

The planning commission is set to decide on the projects’ requested zoning changes on Jan. 28.
By Christopher Neely

Christopher Neely is Community Impact's Austin City Hall reporter. A New Jersey native, Christopher moved to Austin in 2016 following two years of community reporting along the Jersey Shore. His bylines have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Su


VIDEO: Texas Tribune interview with Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar about the coronavirus's effects on the state economy

At 8 a.m. April 7, The Texas Tribune will host a live interview with Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar, conducted by Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey.

Austin and Travis County adopted new guidelines, recommending local residents wear face masks or fabric covering when out in public. (Christopher Neely/Community impact Newspaper)
Coronavirus update: There are now more than 500 confirmed cases in Travis County, Austin

This post will include updates from Travis County and the city of Austin for the week of April 6, including daily case counts. For local updates from March 30-April 5, please click here.

The Texas Workforce Commission's phone and online systems to accept applications for unemployment benefits have been overwhelmed by hundreds of thousands of Texans who are out of work and looking for assistance. (Design by Shelby Savage/Community Impact Newspaper)
With Texas Workforce Commission overwhelmed by surging unemployment claims, Central Texas residents try to hang on

The Texas Workforce Commission received 1.7 million calls from individuals seeking assistance with unemployment benefits in a 24-hour period on March 26.

'OPEN FOR TAKEOUT': With Austin's restaurants in survival mode, one local sign shop is helping get out the message

Rocket Banners' "Open For Takeout" signs can be seen outside hundreds of restaurants throughout Austin.

(Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Survey finds Texas brewers losing more than 70% of revenue because of coronavirus

Brewers across the state are renewing calls for Gov. Greg Abbott to grant temporary waivers for shipping, delivery and tax relief.

(Brian Perdue/Community Impact Newspaper)
April 6: 8 coronavirus stories Austin-area readers need to know

Catch up on some of the latest coronavirus updates for the Austin metro below.

Longtime AISD food services employee Patricia “Pati” Hernandez, who worked at Casis Elementary School in Austin ISD, has passed away. (Sally Grace Holtgrieve/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin ISD employee who tested positive for coronavirus has died

Longtime AISD food services employee Patricia “Pati” Hernandez, who worked at Casis Elementary School, has passed away.

A Capital Metro employee who worked as a bus mechanic has died after testing positive for the coronavirus. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Capital Metro employee who tested positive for coronavirus dies

The individual worked as a bus mechanic. Capital Metro announced April 2 he and three other employees tested positive for the virus.

The Central Texas Food Bank served 1,515 households free food at an event April 4 at Nelson Field in northeast Austin. (Courtesy Central Texas Food Bank)
Central Texas Food Bank serves free food to 1,515 households April 4

Each household received two boxes with about 24 pounds of food each.

(Brian Perdue/Community Impact Newspaper)
Thousands of construction workers this week returned to work in Austin. What are developers doing to ensure safe work sites?

After most residential construction briefly shut down across the city of Austin, home building crews now have the opportunity to return the work.

(Graphic illustration courtesy Jay Jones/Community Impact Newspaper)
‘We’ve got this’: Central Texas librarians step up to help their communities amid coronavirus pandemic

The example in Bee Cave appears to be just one of many stories relating how, amid the COVID-19 crisis, librarians are helping their communities throughout the Greater Austin area.