A 10-unit condo community in the Castle Hill district directly west of downtown Austin and adjacent to the Clarksville neighborhood has officially broken ground on the site of the city’s well-known and now-relocated outdoor graffiti gallery, formally known since 2011 as the HOPE Outdoor Gallery.
The Colorfield condos will occupy the hillside at 1012 Baylor Street, a 1.2-acre property which famously became a tagging and street art hotspot for Austin’s urban explorers after the failure of a 1980s condo project known as Le Palestra left extensive concrete slabs exposed and ignored on the site for decades.
A recent street view of the 1012 Baylor Street site, which is now currently in the early phases of construction as the Colorfield condos.
The property’s longtime owner, investor Vic Ayad, commendably partnered with the HOPE project organizers in 2011 to sustain the de facto gallery and continued to foot the tax bill for this increasingly-valuable piece of land — but the plan was always to eventually develop the site, and now that the HOPE Outdoor Gallery prepares to reopen a new space across town, the future of the address is now fully underway.
Local developers the Cumby Group purchased the property in 2019, with Alterstudio Architecture handling the condo community’s design. As a show of good faith to Austinites who might understandably miss the gallery’s unique urban character, the Colorfield project has committed to donating $20,000 to the HOPE Gallery for its new art space, with an additional $25,000 in-kind donation of labor and resources to relocate the original gallery’s sign and a portion of its concrete wall for a “memorial art wall” to be displayed at the new site as a monument to the HOPE project’s gritty beginnings. The developer also worked with the region’s neighborhood association:
The developer worked with the Old West Austin Neighborhood Association for more than a year as it designed the project to address traffic concerns and create larger, family-friendly homes. The building was designed to preserve the views of the historic Victorian “castle,” which once housed the Texas Military Institute, and Capitol views.
— The Cumby Group
According to the developers, the group will also transport approximately 800 cubic yards of concrete from the original gallery to the new HOPE site where it will be “ground up and used for landscaping and pathways.” A further $90,000 donation will commission a “mural wall” for the new building from local artists.
Along with Cumby Group and Alterstudio, the project’s local construction and engineering team includes MJ Structures, Jones|Carter, and CES; with landscape architecture from Design Workshop. Floorplans at the new community will range from 3,200 to 5,058 square feet, and are priced starting at $3.6 million. According to the Cumby Group, presales have already begun for the project, which is currently on track for completion in winter 2022.