Welcome to Austin’s East Riverside - Oltorf neighborhood, a quaint residential area located to the southeast of the city’s business district. East Riverside - Oltorf is bounded by Montopolis Drive on the east, Ben White Boulevard to the south, Interstate 35 to the west, and the Colorado River to the north. The sub-neighborhoods of Riverside, Parker Lane, and Pleasant Valley make up the East Riverside - Oltorf Combined Neighborhood Planning Area. Established as an off-campus neighborhood for the University of Texas at Austin students in the 1970s, the East Riverside - Oltorf area remained largely rural until the mid-20th century when a country club was built on land in modern-day Pleasant Valley. Houses grew slowly outward from the country club, filling up former pasture and cattle land with domestic residences. The ongoing construction of affordable student housing in East Riverside and the closure of Bergstrom Air Force Base have contributed to a gradual shift in this neighborhood’s demographics. East Riverside - Oltorf became one of Austin’s most popular landing spots for Latin American and Asian immigrants in the 1990s, further contributing to the diverse population that you see here today.
Though construction of more centrally-located student housing in West Campus has reduced the popularity of East Riverside, college students still make up a large portion of the population here. You will find numerous apartment buildings in the triangle-shaped intersection of East Riverside Drive, South Lakeshore Boulevard, and South Pleasant Valley Road. A majority of East Riverside’s commercial activity takes place in this area, especially along East Riverside Drive. Here you will find ethnic eateries, popular bars, chain restaurants, and a supermarket at the corner of East Riverside Drive and South Pleasant Valley Road. The abundance of affordable, newly-renovated apartments and its proximity to Downtown make East Riverside an attractive neighborhood for single professionals that enjoy living close to all of the many entertainment and nightlife options available in Central Austin. East Oltorf Street between I-35 and South Pleasant Valley Road is another bustling commercial strip packed with restaurants, convenience stores, and ethnic markets that cater to the Latin American population in East Riverside.
While not as generous as neighboring Travis Heights, East Riverside offers a decent amount of outdoor amenities for its residents to enjoy. Mabel Davis District Park in the southwest section of East Riverside features an Olympic-size public pool, a 12000-square-foot skate park, basketball courts, and a partially shaded walking trail. The Country Club Creek Greenbelt is another option for outdoor enthusiasts. This three-mile trail runs from Guerrero Colorado River Park down to Mabel Davis Park. For those looking to take advantage of public transit, numerous bus stops along major arteries in East Riverside make it easy to get around.