5.4 out of 10

Central Park

37.9009608231696 -122.305882212133
Great for
  • Public Transport
  • Childcare
  • Cost of Living
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Internet Access
Not great for
  • Clean & Green
  • Schools
  •  
  •  
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Singles
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  •  

Reviews

3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Old Houses, Good Shopping"

Central Park is the largely residential neighborhood just to the west of the El Cerrito Plaza BART station. It is just north of Albany Hill. This area is mostly apartment buildings with older homes mixed in about equal proportions. Rents here go for about $1000 to $2000 for most apartments—they are a real mixed bag. Some look like they could keel over in a strong breeze, others are much tidier. None that I noticed are outstanding here.
Homes are about as affordable as they get in the Bay Area here, with prices ranging from around $200 K to $500 K. The median price is around $300K. These are mostly tiny homes dating from just after WWII.

The schools are also not very good here (especially compared to Albany just to the south). With McGregor High being significantly below average and El Cerrito High being just average.

The neighborhood is relatively safe with no homicides and only a half dozen assaults reported in the last 6 months. Most of the crime reported has to do with property crime and robberies.

As far as restaurants and shopping go, residents of Central Park in El Cerrito are well situated, being just to the west of El Cerrito Plaza and just to the east of the Point Isabel shopping area (where CostCo is located). In addition to the supermarket which is located there, residents will also find everything from a Barnes and Noble Bookstore to a Pier 1 Imports.

But you don’t necessarily need to leave the neighborhood for entertainments and such. For those who like to stay in shape there is a Bridges Rock Gym where you can get in some indoor rock climbing. For entertainment there is the nearby Rialto Cinema—one of those older cinemas with curtains around the screen and where you can occasionally find Wizard of Oz sing-a-longs.

Overall, this is an okay place to live, especially if you are a young couple or a UC student who wants to get a little bit of distance from campus but not live in the suburbs. Not so great if you are in your 30’s and married with kids.
Pros
  • Close to El Cerrito BART
  • Close to Lots of Conveniences
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Below Average Schools
  • Some Crime
  • Old and Dingy
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students

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