Magnolia Center- an amenity rich mid-century neighborhood several miles from Dwtn Riverside, CA

Magnolia Center has long been an important commercial hub for Riverside since its foundation in 1883. This is thanks to the convergence of major streets  at Magnolia Center (i.e. Magnolia, Central, Arlington, Jurupa and Brockton Avenues) making it a natural location for commercial activities.  The neighborhood was developed with small farms and orange groves interspersed with single-family residences. Residential development began in the northern edges of the district in the 1920s but really picked up with the post WWII boom. While retaining some walkability with sidewalks and some orientation to the street, most of Magnolia Center’s commercial development is rather auto centric. Thankfully good urbanism is beginning to win out with the renovation of Riverside Plaza into a walkable lifestyle center and a new mixed-use urban overlay implemented along Brockton and Magnolia Avenues.

Magnolia Center also is a very safe community, hosts several quality schools, has decent park amenities, and good cultural and retail amenities. As long as the neighborhood continues to densify and built more mixed-use, urban orientated development along its commercial corridors, it could become a quality urban neighborhood. 

Click here to view my Magnolia Center album on Flickr

URBAN STRENGTHS:

* Several dedicated bike lanes running through Magnolia Center, but no dedicated bike stations.
* Excellent diversity across the board, especially economic diversity.
* Overall a very safe community.
* Decent park amenities with several small/medium parks spread throughout. Magnolia Center also hosts a public pool too.
* Pretty good tree canopy throughout.
* Good array of walkable schools (both public & private) with good ratings.
* There appears to be a decent amount of aff. hsg in Magnolia Center.
* Some very nice 1920s-1940s residential homes, especially in the northern half of the district.
* Cultural amenities include a good array of ethnic restaurants, several bars & cafes, a performing arts center, a cineplex, and a night club.
* Retail amenities include several supermarkets & drug stores, several boutiques, a Nordstrom Rack, Marshall’s & several other brand name clothing stores, several antique stores, a staples, a bookstore, plenty banks, a hardware store, several gyms & dessert joints, and a community post office/public library. Many of these amenities however, are set in auto centric developments.

URBAN WEAKNESSES:

* Density is pretty low .
* Okay public transit but pretty good access to Downtown.
* Some rental product available, generally on the expensive side. 1-beds lease btwn 1.5K-2.5K, 2-beds 2K-3K, and not much 3 & 4 bed product available.
* For sale Hsg is pretty expensive but some moderately priced smaller units available. A handful of 1-beds sell around 400K. 2-beds 400K-650K, 3 & 4 beds anywhere btwn 300K-1M depending on size and condition.
* Sidewalks exist on about 70% of all streets in the neighborhood. Up to date ADA infrastructure is hit or miss.
* Most of Magnolia Center’s commercial streets are auto centric but always have sidewalks. Once one enters the Riverside Plaza, it becomes pretty walkable like a lifestyle center.
* Modern in-fill ins a mix of decent mid-century architecture, crappy autocentric commercial, and some more recent urban in-fill.
* Imageability isn’t great due to a lack of defined boundaries, mediocre connectivity, a lack of iconic landmarks, and semi-autocentric business districts. But the newly renovated Riverside Plaza is helping create a heart to Magnolia Center.
* Pedestrian traffic isn’t great.

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