South Austin
December 7, 2010 2:13 PM   Subscribe

I am possibly moving to SOUTH AUSTIN. I live in NW Austin, TX. Where are cheap apartments ($450-$600, 1BR) available in a safer neighborhood? What areas should I steer clear of? Any other things I should know about South Austin, good and bad? I never get down below Town Lake. Thanks, Hive!
posted by noonknight to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The area around Oltorf/Riverside east of I-35 (where I lived during college) has gotten pretty sketchy, lots of crime. Also, I'd avoid apartments off of Stanssney east of I-35.
posted by seventyfour at 2:19 PM on December 7, 2010

I had a couple friends who lived here - it's a perfectly nice neighborhood and the apartments seemed fine. (I live about a quarter mile north at most and I love this area.)
posted by restless_nomad at 2:29 PM on December 7, 2010

Are you still going to be working or regularly going to NW Austin? If so, finding something with easy access to Ben White/290 or Mopac is going to be important. The west side also tends to be safer and more upscale. There are pockets of good stuff at William Cannon and Mopac (Costco, Kerbey Lane, Whole Foods in a year, Mandolas in a year), Slaughter and I-35 (supertarget, Carls Jr, Amy's, Borders), and on Ben White and Brodie (Sprouts market, Barnes & Noble, La Madeline). You won't find much of that east of I-35 or too far west of Mopac.

Some friends of mine just moved to apartments off of Barton Creek Skyway and Mopac, near Taco Deli. That pretty much sounds like heaven. Close to downtown, walk to the greenbelt, walk to Taco Deli. I don't know what they run, though.

Lamar, South 1st and Congress between the river and Oltorf are all gentrifying, and anything near them will probably be terribly expensive.
posted by jeffkramer at 2:37 PM on December 7, 2010

I lived at a place called Timbercreek on S. First just south of Riverside for about 2 years in 2000-2002. It wasn't great crime-wise--while I was there I had my car broken into once and had a couple of bikes stolen from the outdoor bike rack--but I loved it because it was so close to the river and downtown. Walking to/from 6th St. was not at all daunting. The neighborhood seemed to be improving around the time I left, but I have no idea what's become of it since then.
posted by shponglespore at 3:48 PM on December 7, 2010

the money skewes to the west with the exception of the 78704 which is all money. The 78745 is maybe 5 miles south of the river and wayyy cheaper
if you like going downtown get a place on the night owl bus route.
austin's more of a theft crime city, not a murder ya on sight kinda place, so if you're careful and drive a shitty car you can live anywhere safely.
posted by kristymcj at 7:08 PM on December 7, 2010

I moved into SE Austin (bought a house) last month after three years living on the west side near the Pennybacker Bridge. Observations so far from living here: Riverside just east of 35 is gentrifying down from the north as the Mueller area builds up. The further west you get, the sketchier looking it gets. Oltorf is still pretty sketchy, but it's clear which way the wind is blowing.

The thing I've noticed about South Austin is that there's a lot less chain stuff other than the areas jeffkramer pointed out. But there's a lot more one-off, local institution type places for shopping and eating. Some people may think this is a negative, but I personally find it a positive.
posted by immlass at 7:38 PM on December 7, 2010

I lived for years at Club at Summer Valley on William Cannon and South First, and most of my friends lived nearby. There were sometimes homeless people begging in the area, but that's true everywhere now. I guess my area was a little bit "ghetto," if that bothers you, but to me it just meant plenty of great taco joints and the occasional ice cream pushcart. I don't know how safe the neighborhood really was, but I didn't have any crime problems (though I don't have a car). It was cheap even though my apartment was very roomy. Maybe my standards are low, but that was what I considered a nice place to live.

What you need to know about South Austin:
- It's where the cool, non-yuppie people live.
- You must not refer to South Congress as SoCo, South Lamar as SoLa, or, for the love of all that is holy, South First as SoFi.
- There's a nice bridge full of bats down on Dittmar Rd. near Lunar. That's also near my dad's house, which has one of South Austin's best Christmas light displays every year.
- That's all I can think of. It's a pretty laid-back 'hood.
posted by Xezlec at 8:23 PM on December 7, 2010

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