5.7 out of 10

Martin Luther King

30.2844605447675 -97.6925754083146
Great for
  • Cost of Living
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Public Transport
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Internet Access
Not great for
  • Nightlife
  • Eating Out
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Shopping Options
  • Schools
Who lives here?
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Students
  • Professionals
  • Retirees

Reviews

3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"An Evolving East Austin Neighborhood"

The Martin Luther King neighborhood of East Austin is not really a cohesive area by the standards of Austin, as it is severed in parts by some of the major East Austin thoroughfares. Long known as a high crime region, it has made strides in recent years and single family homes here range in price from $140, to $250,000. There is ample green space here as there are many empty lots where homes once stood and there is some new construction in the area helping to drive up property values. It is in general a friendly neighborhood and crime tends to center around low-rent apartments in pockets of the neighborhood.

It's served by the Austin Independent School District and there are private school options close by. Capitol Metro bus service makes it easy and cheap to get to the University of Texas at Austin or any other part of the city. There is little in the form of nightlife in this area and few dining options except for fast food and Mexican cuisine. There are worse places to raise a family in the city of Austin, but there are also more attractive areas if you can afford it.
Pros
  • Cheap housing
  • Easy access to other east side neighborhoods
  • Firendly Neighborhood
  • Lots of buses
  • Open space
Cons
  • Little nightlife
  • Some poverty
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 1/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Pleasant low-income neighborhoods carved up by high-traffic thru roads"

As a cyclist living just over MLK’s western border (Springdale Rd), I ride through this neighborhood all the time, and I think of it as the Land of Really Steep Hills. “Hill Country” is what Texans call the rural land surrounding the city of Austin, but you could really apply that designation to much of the city itself.

In a certain way, the triangular border formed by Airport Blvd., Springdale Rd. and Manor Rd is an arbitrary one. Defined this way, MLK doesn’t really feel like one cohesive neighborhood, since the MLK triangle is carved up by high-traffic thru roads (E12th and Oak Springs Rd). On the plus side, lots of buses run through here.

And certain areas of the neighborhood don’t feel… “of” the neighborhood. For example, the stretch of newly-built, brightly-colored yuppie townhouses planted along the steep hillside of E 12th, and the Morris Williams municipal golf course north of MLK (an apparent favorite of the Austin golf-playing set, if the yelp reviews are any indication). They're here, but they don't exactly fit the character of the rest of the place.

The best parts of this neighborhood are the residential areas sandwiched between MLK and 12th, and between 12th and Oak Springs. Here, you’ll find leafy streets with tiny houses. These are pleasant low-income neighborhoods, where you can find great rental prices.

Perhaps the defining feature of this neighborhood is the sprawling open land around the Givens District Recreation Center. It’s great to have so much open green space (well sometimes it’s green, but I guess more often it’s dry, straw-colored space). In addition to the rolling fields, the rec center has a gymnasium (not a gym with exercises machines—it’s like, a school gymnasium) and a weight room, as well as a community swimming pool that’s open in the summertime.
Pros
  • Open space
  • Lots of buses
  • Cheap housing
  • Easy access to other east side neighborhoods
Cons
  • Little nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"Cute homes, and a neighborhood with personality"

There’s a surprising amount of green space here, which immediately raises the stock of this area above the starker concrete expanses or apartment building wastelands of other lower-cost neighborhoods. The houses are adorable, and I love the personality of the area. Crime is of the non-violent type, as it is throughout most of Austin, so there’s not a lot to be worried about here that you won’t face anywhere else. Just make sure your car and home are locked, and you practice awareness when walking alone. I probably wouldn’t walk here alone at night, just because I’m not super familiar with the area, but after you’ve been situated there a while and know your way around, you shouldn’t have any trouble. It’s just a quick jog over to I35 and the UT campus, and it’s just southeast of the newly-renovated Mueller neighborhood. This area is also a good place to look into, as it’s got all new commercial areas and a community organization that is really trying to pump up the enthusiasm of its residents. This area’s got pretty good public transportation options, but most people would probably prefer having a car here. Traffic isn’t bad since it’s not framed by any major arteries.
Pros
  • Cheap housing
  • Easy access to other east side neighborhoods
  • Firendly Neighborhood
Cons
  • Little nightlife
  • Some poverty
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • 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 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Diamond in the Rough"

In the triangle formed by Airport Blvd., Springdale Rd. and Manor Rd., the MLK neighborhood is another surviving epitome of East Side Austin. It has a former reputation of being a run down crime ridden neighborhood, but efforts have constantly been made to change that and many are jumping ship to these streets for the cheap buying and rental prices. The average house in the area goes for around $110,000 while most rental prices fall below $600. Very few apartments are in the area, but instead lines of bungalow type houses that can be irresistible to anyone who is found of such architecture and scenery.

What MLK lacks in nightlife it makes up for in neighborly spirit as this is the place to get to know and become friends with those who live next to you. Those who do want a little more excitement have plenty of bus stops and easy bike routes to use to go closer to campus or Downtown. Many mosey into this community to take advantage of the large golf course that lays along E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and there are two public parks, one with a recreation center, where residents can leisurely enjoy the outdoors. About half of those that live here live below the poverty line, but that does not seem to dampen spirits. Those who are looking for east side charm at a cheap price can easily enjoy living life in this community.
Pros
  • Cheap housing
  • Firendly Neighborhood
  • Easy access to other east side neighborhoods
Cons
  • Some poverty
  • Little nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish

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