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


MOST RECENT

Travis County is approaching Stage 5 risk with 69 new hospitalizations July 6. (Community Impact staff)
Travis County reports 7 new coronavirus deaths July 6

Travis County is appoaching Stage 5 risk with 69 new hospitalizations July 6 and 64.6 per day this past week.

A photo of two women walking on a trail
Travis County reopens some parks after holiday weekend, warns more closures could come

Seventeen Travis County parks will reopen following Fourth of July weekend closures.

Austin Community College President and CEO Richard Rhodes
Austin Community College resumes some in-person classes July 6

The district is continuing to offer most classes online, but some classes have resumed in-person activities.

Pharmacist Emily Smith opens a cooler for a patient to place their self-swab coronavirus test at a Walmart drive-thru testing site in McKinney on June 29. (Shelby Tauber/The Texas Tribune)
Poll says Texans' hopes for quick return to pre-coronavirus life are fading

Texans remain focused on the coronavirus pandemic and are less optimistic about returning the state to normal quickly, according to polling by the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller recently backed a movement calling for the reopening of winery and distillery tasting rooms and brewery and brewpub taprooms. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Agriculture Commissioner joins voices calling for reopening of tasting rooms, taprooms

In a letter to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller said demand from distilleries and breweries provides an important revenue stream to the state's farmers.

Rodney Redes
With its first signing, Austin FC looks to develop a young forward

With the beginning of its inaugural season less than a year out, professional soccer club Austin FC has officially begun building its roster.

Volunteers help load food at an event hosted by the Central Texas Food Bank at Del Valle High School in April. (Courtesy Central Texas Food Bank)
Central Texas Food bank announces four drives in July

Families in need can pick up free produce, milk, protein and shelf-stable items, as available, on four dates.

Travis County added 670 new coronavirus cases July 4-5.
Austin metro COVID-19 hospitalizations rise to 446 after holiday weekend

Travis County added 670 new coronavirus cases July 4-5.

Overall in Travis County there has been a total of 10,695 cases since mid-March.. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Travis County adds 571 COVID-19 cases; new restriction put in place ahead of holiday weekend

Overall in Travis County there has been a total of 10,695 cases since mid-March.

The First Street Foundation's dataset includes a forecast models that anticipate the effects of climate change and sea level rise. (Screenshot via First Street Foundation)
Analysis: FEMA may be undercounting national total flood risk by as much as 70%

The new dataset includes an interactive Flood Factor dashboard that anyone can use to assess the risk of flooding over a 30-year period for any address.

A photo of a person wearing a medical mask
Travis County Judge supports state masking order, says county will enforce

After Gov. Greg Abbot's statewise mandate to wear masks that cover mouth and nose, Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe voiced his support.