Graffiti park will stay in downtown Austin for 3 more months

Downtown Austin as seen from the HOPE Outdoor Gallery on Baylor Street

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The new location of Austin’s popular graffiti park, the HOPE Outdoor Gallery, is expected to open in spring 2019 on a 58-acre ranch in eastern Travis County.

The current location on Baylor Street, just west of North Lamar Boulevard in downtown Austin, will be staying as-is until October, the project team announced Monday. The downtown location was initially going to shut down in June.

That means three more months for visitors and locals hoping to work in one last photo op or spray-paint session.

An exact date for the park’s demolition has yet to be officially set.

Come springtime, planners hope to have the new graffiti park up and running at Carson Creek Ranch — just north of the Austin airport on the banks of the Colorado River — a 10-mile drive from the current location.

HOPE Outdoor Gallery is managed by a nonprofit called HOPE Events, which announced the plan to move to a new, permanent home in November 2017.

The nonprofit’s vision for the new site is highlighted by a network of walls that will spell out the word “HOPE” to airplanes on their descent into the Austin airport. 

If there’s one takeaway from the description of the new park, it’s space — something the Baylor Street location is lacking, especially in terms of parking. 

Downtown neighbors to the graffiti park told KXAN last year the announcement was exactly what they had been waiting for. 

“To get out of my driveway, sometimes it takes 10-15 minutes,” Sarah Pope said. “Sometimes when it’s gridlocked, I’ll be one car away from my driveway and I just can’t get in.”

Following three years of negotiation, the project team says ownership of the Baylor Street site has been transferred to Mid City Development, a locally-owned real estate firm specializing in “urban, high-quality, multi-family projects.”

The firm plans to include public art spaces programmed by HOPE in the new development and preserve a piece of the current graffiti park’s concrete walls for a memorial piece at Carson Creek Ranch.

Funded through a mix of private and public contributions, the organization says HOPE has raised money partially through a donor brick program, where supporters can donate an engraved brick to be included on a memorial wall installation.

The cost starts at $125 for a 4×8-inch engraved brick and up to $2,500 for a 16×16-inch brick. The engraving includes 3 to 16 lines of text depending on the brick size.

HOPE promised additional announcements will be made as the opening date approaches with more details on the art programs and hospitality offerings.

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