Only 1 of 2 condo projects proposed for Austin’s old ‘Graffiti Park’ receives Planning Commission support, both head to City Council for final decision

Austin's "Graffiti Park" was a popular community asset until its closure in 2019. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin's "Graffiti Park" was a popular community asset until its closure in 2019. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)

Austin's "Graffiti Park" was a popular community asset until its closure in 2019. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)

Two projects proposing a total of 22 three-bedroom condo units on the property formerly occupied by Austin’s internationally famous “Graffiti Park” were in front of Austin’s Planning Commission on Jan. 28, but only one project earned commission support. Both projects will head to City Council for final a final decision.

The approval comes almost two years to the day after a city commission approved the demolition of the HOPE Outdoor Gallery, known locally as Graffiti Park. The property’s concrete slabs—leftover foundation from a failed multifamily development in the 1980s—provided the infrastructure for what began as a South by Southwest Conference & Festivals art exhibit in 2011 and evolved into a become a massively popular urban graffiti lab until its official closure in 2019.

The commission-recommended project proposes 10 units on the sloping section of the urban tract—located officially at 1006 Baylor St.—and is headed by Bryan Cumby and his Mid-City Development. Commissioners recommended the project 7-3. The commission voted against recommending the other project, which proposed 12 units for the top section of the old park, located officially at 1109 W. 11th St. The project was offered by Victor Ayad, who owned the entire property—including Cumby’s section—throughout its Graffiti Park days. The final commission vote was 3-6-1.

Representatives from the Old West Austin Neighborhood Association came out in objection to both projects, voicing concern over the lack of connectivity. They also said they were concerned that the height entitled to the projects would block the view of the historic Texas Military Institute Castle that sits at the crest of the sloping property in question.

Neither project offered affordable housing; however, Ayad’s project drew specific concerns, as commissioners said they wanted the developer to work on options for affordable housing, as well as increased bicycle and pedestrian connectivity, prior to earning the requested zoning change to allow for more impervious cover and building capacity.


Editor's note: A previous version of the article incorrectly stated that only one project was heading to City Council for a final decision.
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

A photo of a finger-prick test being administered
Victory Medical now offers 10-minute coronavirus tests

The new finger-prick test gives results in a few minutes.

(Designed by Mel Stefka/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin-area health care centers receive more than $7 million from CARES Act

Three Austin-area nonprofit health care centers have been awarded federal grants totaling more than $7 million for coronavirus relief.

At an April 8 press conference, Dr. Mark Escott, the Austin Public Health interim health authority, said emergency backup medical facilities will open soon in case local hospitals are not able to provide enough space for coronavirus patients. (Courtesy ATXN)
Austin, Travis County officials planning for up to 1.7 million coronavirus cases, 9,000 deaths in metro

Emergency backup medical facilities will open in case local hospitals are not able to provide enough space for patients who contract the coronavirus.

Many of the city's outdoor amenities, such as Barton Springs Pool, have already been shut down. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin mayor considering shutting down parks and trails to further social distancing measures

The city's parks and trails will already be shut down through the holiday weekend.

Austin Community College classes will be held online this summer. (Courtesy Austin Community College)
Austin Community College to move scheduled summer courses online

The announcement comes one week after the district announced it would close its campuses through at least May 31.

Nearly half of Central Texas residents have completed the 2020 census as of April 6, U.S. Census Bureau data shows. (Graphic by Community Impact staff)
Nearly half of Central Texas residents have completed the census so far

The census is available in 13 languages online and over the phone, and the print version is available in 59 languages.

Austin's and Travis County's orders went into place March 25 and require residents to stay home for everything but essential travel. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin looks to lease 3 hotels in $3.6 million coronavirus shelter plan

The hotels are being used for coronavirus patients and members of vulnerable communities who cannot safely isolate on their own.

Projections from University of Texas researchers say continued social distancing is working. (Screenshot courtesy University of Texas at Austin)
UPDATED: UT projections say continued social distancing is working

Coronavirus demand projections released by The University of Texas at Austin on April 6 show that cases in the Austin-Round Rock metropolitan statistical area could vary from 6,000 to 1.7 million based on the effectiveness of social distancing.

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)
5 coronavirus stories Austin-area readers might have missed

Readers might have missed the following five coronavirus-related stories.

(Graphic by Mel Stefka/Community Impact Newspaper)
Animal adoption, foster numbers up as Austin community comes together to support shelters

Austin animal shelters reported increases in animal foster applications, adoptions and intakes.

Passover, a major observance for members of the Jewish community, begins April 8. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, many services are being held online. (Courtesy Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston)
Austin’s Jewish community prepares for Passover observance under quarantine

Synagogues and Jewish organizations in Austin have pivoted to offer online Passover Seders to families in lock down ahead.

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)
Austin health officials are tracking 8 clusters of confirmed coronavirus cases

The clusters are groups of coronavirus cases health officials know are related to one another.