3.9 out of 10

Riverdale

Ranked 47th best neighborhood in Austin
30.2400682780432 -97.727366565972
Great for
  • Public Transport
  • Internet Access
  • Cost of Living
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Resale or Rental Value
Not great for
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Childcare
  • Medical Facilities
  • Pest Free
  • Lack of Traffic
Who lives here?
  • Students
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Professionals
  • Trendy & Stylish

Reviews

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

"Off-campus student housing, densely populated, loud, and lots of condos & conveniences"

Riverdale is largely residential. Unfortunately, you won’t find beautiful old homes here. It’s a recently developed area full of condos, apartment complexes and cheap student housing for UT undergrads, and St. Edward’s students.

Located along the waterfront is the Lady Bird Lake trail—great for jogging and biking. And just on the other side of I-35 is the beautiful Blunn Creek Greenbelt. But the true reason for this neighborhood’s high density population, is that it’s just a 10 minute drive to the center of downtown, and less than half that distance to cool nightlife on the eastside.

As such, there are all kinds of businesses here, catering to students: the H-E-B grocery store, computer repair services, gym & fitness facilities, pool halls, cheap restaurants, etc. Much like it’s sister neighborhood, Pleasant Valley, there are many conveniences in this neighborhood, but not a lot of soul or history.
Pros
  • close to downtown
  • close to I-35
  • Cheap rent
  • Lots of fellow students
  • Many complexes have gyms, pools, and free internet
  • Close to SoCo
Cons
  • Not a lot of history or character
  • A little shady
  • Apartments only
  • Lots of loud students
Recommended for
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"Nothing but apartment complexes"

I can’t imagine living in Riverdale for any reason besides being a student on the prowl for affordable, convenient housing. Crammed into the neighborhood as densely as sardines in a tin, the college students tend to keep the neighborhood pretty vivacious and loud, and although Riverdale has developed something of a reputation as a place where you want to keep your eyes peeled for mischief, most of the problems stem more from the huge population in a small area rather than any actual degenerate element.

All that said, this is what it set out to be, which was off-campus student housing, catering to students specifically with large apartment complexes ideal for roommate shares and amenities like fitness rooms and wireless internet. The neighborhood in and of itself is nothing to write home about, but you’re pretty conveniently located near most anyplace you’d want to visit, with plenty of parks and other green spaces nearby, as well as trendier neighborhoods, shopping, and entertainment. For current students, finding housing here is like shooting fish in a barrel, and the college environment has thoroughly permeated the entire neighborhood. For anyone in a position to live anywhere else, though, the neighborhood is just crowded, slightly dangerous, noisy, and lacking in fun.
Pros
  • Lots of fellow students
  • Many complexes have gyms, pools, and free internet
Cons
  • A little shady
  • Apartments only
  • No nightlife
  • Lots of loud students
Recommended for
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
2yrs+

"Satellite location for UT housing"

When one thinks of the Riverside neighborhood in Austin, one characteristic comes to mind: students. This neighborhood is a huge haven for the undergraduate population of Austin, housing students from the University of Texas, St. Edwards University and Austin Community College.

Bordered by Lady Bird Lake to the north, E. Oltorf to the south, Interstate 35 to the west and Pleasant Valley Road to the east, this is one of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the city. The area is dominated by apartment complexes, and it seems new ones are being built all the time. Envisioned as an off-campus area for students by the University of Texas back in the 1970s, two shuttle bus lines continue to make this area popular with students looking for housing less expensive than found nearer to campus. In the mid-1990s the area became popular with recent immigrants from Mexico and Latin America and Asian countries, giving the area an international vibe.

But all this concentrated living, coupled with years of neglect, have given this neighborhood a shady reputation. Crime tends to be higher here, and there are areas that feel unsafe. However, Riverside also contains some older, more charming areas within its borders. The larger of the single-family homes run in the mid-$300s, and of course there are many townhouses and condominiums available here. Area schools include Sanchez Elementary, Martin Middle School and Austin High School.

The best that the Riverside neighborhood has to offer is convenient access to downtown and the University of Texas. It also sits just south of Lady Bird Lake with its many hike and bike trails. Roy G. Guerrero Park is nearby, which is currently underutilized but could become another source of Austin pride in the future.
Pros
  • Lots of fellow students
  • Shuttle to UT
Cons
  • Lots of loud students
  • A little shady
Recommended for
  • Students
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"Good for students on the cheap"

A good friend of mine who was in my grad program at UT lived here, and though it’s thought to be one of the lower-income, higher-crime areas, she had absolutely no problem here. Sure, it was loud, but she also lived in an apartment complex close to I35 that was populated with rowdy UT undergrads. I lived nearby in Pleasant Valley, and we had about the same experience. There may be some weird homeless guys sleeping on a park bench next to the bus stop, but that’s all I really saw. She had a balcony, too, and her apartment was clean, so that paired with relatively cheap rent made her happy. Her complex also offered her free internet. The complexes have big parking lots that are off the main streets, so there wasn’t any trouble with vandalism that I knew of, either. There’s an HEB and a general commercial area nearby, and plenty of busses to get you to class or work or to brighter areas of the city. This may not be the best place for families, or professionals looking to experience the full benefits of Austin, but it’s a good starter area for students and others who are just moving to the area.
Pros
  • Many complexes have gyms, pools, and free internet
  • Cheap rent
Cons
  • Apartments only
  • No nightlife
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"Cheap, By the River and a Little Boring"

Riverdale, more commonly known as Riverside, is named so because it it right below the river, which is a major draw for people in addition to the cheap rent. This neighborhood, however, lacks the allure that so man y other Austin communities have and the streets are concrete jungles that have the typical cash advance booths and liquor stores. This community has a less than favorable reputation as some suspicious characters are often spotted on the main streets, but it does not reach the level of sketchiness that Montopolis does. It is simply advised that you watch you back every so often if you are walking down E. Riverside Dr. at night.

Like its neighboring Pleasant Valley, Riverdale is being rebuilt and apartment complexes are shooting up at an incredible speed. These are targeted towards young professionals and university students as the University of Texas has a shuttle that stops by many of these apartments. Those who want to enjoy Austin nightlife have to I-35 which will take them to the Travis Heights and South Congress areas as well as a direct route to Downtown. Being right next to the river and a few parks makes enjoying Austin's outdoors easy and the cheap rental prices make being in such a location a near steal. In hindsight, a person could do better, but he or she could also do a lot worse in choosing a neighborhood in which to live. They just have to constantly step out of the area to have some fun.
Pros
  • Right below the river
  • Cheap rent
  • Close to SoCo
Cons
  • A little shady
  • Apartments only
  • No nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish

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