East Riverside/Oltorf Austin Neighborhood
At first glance, this area looks like apartment central and there is no doubt hundreds of apartments fill the area, some catering to students, others working families and still others aimed at the young, professional market. But after years of what some have called neglect, Austin city planners have turned their attention to the area and much-needed lifestyle infrastructure improvements, particularly parks, are getting big infusions of funding.
There are three main areas of apartment development -- East Riverside Drive, East of Interstate 35; East Oltorf Street, also East of the interstate; and Montopolis Drive, which runs North-South between Oltorf and Riverside. Austin Community College's Riverside campus is located on Grove Boulevard, just West of Montopolis. The Riverside campus is noted for its technology programs, which are enhanced by the nearby presence of the Advanced Micro Devices campus, located between Ben White Boulevard and Oltorf.
AMD is one of the city's largest employers and its decision to move to Southeast Austin, plus the development surrounding Austin-Bergstrom Airport to the East has boosted the neighborhood. AMD and partners are committed to building nearly six miles of trails in the area to link Roy Guerrero Colorado River Park in the North to Mabel Davis District Park South of Oltorf. Mabel Davis reopened in late 2005 after a $6 million restoration effort. It now boasts an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a full basketball court, trails and picnic sites.
Roy Guerrero Park is a diamond in the rough that is also scheduled for big improvements. The 363 acre park is as big as Austin's crown jewel, Zilker Park, and it links the Riverside Golf Course with the West of IH-35 extension of the Town Lake Hike and Bike Trail. Apartments, many of them older complexes, along the Southern bank of Town Lake have direct access to the greenbelt and also some great views of the downtown skyline.
Riverside Golf Course is the former Austin Country Club where Tom Kite and Ben Crenshaw learned to play. Open to both members and nonmembers at very reasonable daily fees, the course is another of those hidden gems in this Southeast neighborhood. Another popular sports facility is the Krieg Field Softball Complex, home to many of the city's softball leagues and a colony of monk parakeets who have nested in the utility poles.
In addition to its outdoor resources, East Riverside/Oltorf has a busy, urban feel with an abundance of diverse, affordable restaurants, many of them with their ethnic roots in Asia and Latin America. There is good budget shopping in the area's strip malls, plus large grocery stores, dry cleaners and laundromats and a branch of the University Co-op on Riverside Drive. There is easy access to IH-35 and downtown, but rush hour traffic is usually slow, especially where the interstate crosses Town Lake into the downtown area.
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East Riverside/Oltorf Apartments