5.8 out of 10

Midtown

Ranked 5th best neighborhood in Palo Alto
37.4328571244768 -122.127537993834
Great for
  • Schools
  • Safe & Sound
  • Clean & Green
  • Eating Out
  • Public Transport
Not great for
  • Cost of Living
  • Childcare
  • Parking
  •  
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Students
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian

Reviews

3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
2yrs+

"Safe, family-friendly community"

Bounded by Oregon Expressway, US Route 101, Alma Street and Loma Verde Avenue, Midtown is a relatively safe and family-friendly Palo Alto community. It is relatively large in size, stretching about 1.5 square miles of dense residential terrain (almost 10,000 residents). From the accounts of many realtors, the neighborhood offers some of the best places to call home due to its relative convenience to all things Palo Alto. It is also firmly gripped in the middle-class blanking...

Midtown is an exclusively residential, firmly middle-class community. Most homes are rather old, built during California’s staggering population boom in the 1950’s. As a result, there are still a plethora of single-story Eichler homes or what’s described as “California modern.” However, some homes have been torn down in favor of larger, two-story homes (situated along/close to Rosewood Drive). In the recent past, many older residents have feared that the neighborhood’s original character and traditional elements have been neglected over a newer, larger homes which give a certain modern, younger appeal.

As a whole, the neighborhood offers some quaint neighborhood aesthetics with fresh green foliage situated on almost every property. While properties vary in size, as do the homes themselves. That’s why housing prices are estimated between $750,000 to $2 million in price while condominiums tend to be sold for around $500,000. If you anticipate living here, median household incomes are around a lofty $110,000/year. And-according to the 2010 US Census, the neighborhood’s racial makeup is largely white (70%), with a sizable asian minority (25%).

For your commercial needs, there is a small shopping center (Midtown Shopping Center) situated along Middlefield Road. The area offers your neighborhood amenities including a Walgreens, a CVS pharmacy, a Round Table Pizza, a couple cafes and coffee shops. The neighborhood also encompasses two neighborhood parks, Greer Park and Henry Seale Park. Both offer a large soccer surface while Greer has a youth baseball field. Elsewhere, US Route 101 skirts the northern edge of the neighborhood which can make for some congested traffic around the district’s perimeter. There are also a plethora of churches with different denominations located around the eastern side of Middlefield.
Pros
  • Great Schools
  • Nice Houses
  • Suburban Conveniences
Cons
  • Boring
  • Very Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Family Friendly Dullsville"

In the summer, we looked into to living here. Although it is mostly houses, there are some apartments here and there in Midtown. Unfortunately, like virtually everywhere else in Palo Alto it is just not affordable. The cheapest apartment that we could find was $1750 for a 1 bedroom and it was way on the eastern side of Midtown, which is a pretty good distance for me to get to school or for the BF to get to the Caltrains station on the western end—especially with our one car situation.

Most places here cost more than that $1750 low however. The apartments here, though not quite as expensive as some other spots, still run at about $2000 for a one-bedroom or studio and $2500 for a two-bedroom. Homes are about the same except that would be the low range, with some prices rising into the $4000 range for 3-bedroom place. Pretty unbelievable.

This is not really a renter’s neighborhood though. Midtown has a pretty suburban feel and people moving here are pretty much looking to buy not rent, I think. You can actually find some newer construction here—homes that have just been finished in the last two years and that are on the market for $2 million and above. In fact, unless the home is in foreclosure, the asking price seems to start at $1 million, even if it is just a fairly typical 1950’s Ranch home. It just comes to show that the Silicon Valley was not hit that hard by the Recession and has pretty much recovered, even if the rest of California is still trying to get back to “normal.”

As to restaurants and that sort of thing, this is not the neighborhood for that. The best restaurant here is probably Indochine—the rest is pretty much just the kind fast food places you can find pretty much anywhere you go.

Middlefield Road is the main drag through this neighborhood, and though it is pleasant it is nothing to write home about. That’s where you find the fast food restaurants and the supermarket and all that boring stuff.

You will find a fair number of gyms here including places for pilates—I have friend who goes to one of the places here and loves it. And I think there is a good dance studio here too—but other than that it is pretty much dullsville.

As to what the homes are like in this area? On the end nearest to campus, you get a mix of those nicer style Ranch homes with the thatched roofs with a fair number of really nice newer constructions mixed in for good measure. East of Middlefield Road it is one of the many Eichler neighborhoods that you will find in Palo Alto. Those flat roofed houses are all over the place there.

The streets throughout Midtown are flat as well and with sidewalks so it is perfect for kids. And, of course, the schools are also fantastic, I am told. So a great spot to live with your family, if you can afford it—and that here in Palo Alto is, of course, a very big “if.”
Pros
  • Great Schools
  • Nice Houses
  • Suburban Conveniences
Cons
  • No Nightlife
  • Very Expensive
  • Boring
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids

Travelling to Midtown?

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Best Streets in Midtown

1

Oregon Expy

3/5
"Residential Connector"
37.4459812181438 -122.122658428507
2

Emerson St

3/5
"Great Restaurants"
37.4257856317552 -122.13390235972

Unranked Streets in Midtown

Louis Rd

3.5/5
"Very Leafy, with huge backyards"
37.4371015604187 -122.122782803011

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