Crestview, a neighborhood in North Central Austin, is like a time capsule from the post-World War II boom years. It's filled with charming bungalows and mid-century ranch homes boasting beautiful gardens and shaded by mature trees.
The Crestview neighborhood, built by developer A.B. Beddow on the site of an old dairy farm, attracts people who value the quiet, relaxing environment of an established area.
The Metro Rail Red Line stops at the Crestview station, located at Lamar and Airport boulevards. Trains run on weekdays between Leander and downtown Austin. The station led to the creation of a new mixed-use development—Midtown Commons—that's expected to attract more residents and commerce.
The Crestview Neighborhood Association defines the neighborhood as stretching from Anderson Lane to the north and Justin Lane to the south and between Lamar Boulevard and Burnet Road (east to west). The neighborhood, which covers about 1.2 square miles, is just moments from U.S. Highway 183, which provides quick access to Interstate 35, about a mile to the east, as well as MoPac Boulevard (Loop 1), about a mile to the west.
In addition to its Metro Rail stop, Crestview is served by a number of bus routes that link the neighborhood to the University of Texas campus and downtown Austin. Students can ride the Pickle Research Campus (PRC) shuttle line; residents can take the #1L/M, #101, #3 or #5 bus lines to the city's downtown core. For those seeking to travel elsewhere in the city, Capital Metro operates a park-and-ride at U.S. 183 and Lamar Boulevard, just a block north of the neighborhood's northeast corner.
Crestview prides itself on its mellow, low-key vibe, and residents frequently walk or jog through the neighborhood, pushing strollers and leading dogs. The neighborhood is known for its friendly feel, epitomized by the Wall of Welcome, a mural along Woodrow Avenue.
Some residents remain true to the area's agricultural history by supporting gardening efforts by the nonprofit Urban Patchwork, which plants crops in area yards and shares the fruits of volunteers' labors with homeowners. And Brentwood Elementary is known for its organic gardening program.
In addition to planting gardens, residents cultivate a strong sense of community by planting signs on their lawns promoting school plays, church fundraisers, roadside clean-ups and community events such as the Violet Crown Festival.
According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the median age in Crestview is 34 years and the median family income is more than $75,000 a year. Forty-six percent of Crestview residents are married, about 30 percent are single, about 15 percent are divorced and about 9 percent are widowed. More than 80 percent of the neighborhood's households are childless, according to Zillow.com data.
Though there are no city parks within the neighborhood's boundaries, the 9-acre Brentwood Park lies just south of Crestview, and residents make use of its basketball courts, swimming pool, playground and tennis and volleyball courts. The North Austin Optimist Club, which sponsors local youth sports activities, holds a long-term lease on a baseball and softball field on Morrow Drive just west of Lamar Boulevard.
- Public: The Austin Independent School District has assigned students in the Crestview neighborhood to Brentwood Elementary School, Lamar Middle School and McCallum High School, which houses a fine arts academy.
- Private: Private schools that serve students in the Crestview area include Redeemer Lutheran, St. Louis Catholic School, Oakmont School, Austin SDA Junior Academy, St. Francis, Victory Christian Center School, Paragon Prep, Northwest Montessori House of Children, Capital School of Austin and Odyssey School.
- Buy: The bulk of Crestview's housing stock (86.5 percent) is made up of single-family homes, according to Zillow.com; condos and rental units (both in apartment complexes and multi-family buildings) make the up the rest. Homes in Crestview are typically smaller than the city's median size. Many homes, more than 70 percent of which were built from 1940 to 1960, are under 1,400 square feet. Prices have shown a steady rise, and homes tend to hold their value because of the area's central location. To view homes available on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), visit AustinHomeSearch.com.
- Rent: Studio apartments in the area start at $1010 a month while one-bedroom apartments range from $1,200 to about $1,500 a month.
Shopping and Restaurants
Though the area is primarily residential, Crestview's tiny business district—bordered by Woodrow Avenue, Arroyo Seco and St. Johns Avenue—has a loyal clientele. Lines form at lunchtime at Little Deli & Pizza, and hamburger fans can satisfy their red-meat cravings on Burnet Road at Top Notch, the drive-in featured in Richard Linklater's 1993 film Dazed and Confused. A local favorite for hot beverages and desserts is Genuine Joe Coffeehouse on Anderson Lane.
The Scourge of Tear-Downs
While Crestview has been a hotbed of remodeling activity for many years, recently more investors are buying homes in the area, tearing them down and replacing them with much larger homes, duplexes or four-plexes. Neighborhood leaders have lobbied the Austin City Council for years, trying to get more ground rules in place. However, with the demise of Austin’s proposed development code, CodeNext, the fight has entered a slow-moving new phase. To their chagrin, neighbors are learning that houses built in the 1950s had remarkably thick foundations, sometimes as much as 3 feet thick. In order to remove such a foundation, industrial-sized jackhammers have to pound on it day after day for at least a full week. And neighborhoods that were once mostly nuclear families are having to adapt to denser structures such as apartment buildings in their midst. As of August 2018, city leaders are debating their next move in their effort to bring some order to Austin’s building boom.
Edited by Robert Macias