Bordered by Columbus Drive to the south; Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd. to the north; North Blvd. to the east; and the Hillsborough River to the west, Riverside Height’s .70 square miles is home to nearly 3,000 residents. Considered one of the oldest “subdivisions” in the city, the area’s accessibility greatly improved with the building of the North Blvd. bridge, making downtown Tampa an easy commute. Head north and then west down Martin Luther King for easy access to the St. Joseph’s Hospital area of medical facilities and Raymond James Stadium, home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The area is a quiet residential district with little thru traffic. The demographic of Riverside Heights is rapidly changing as long-time elderly residents are being replaced with families and young adults. The area has become popular in recent years due to its close proximity to downtown, the airport, and both I-275 and I-4 Interstate exchanges. There is a Homeowner’s Association, but membership is voluntary and only costs $12 per year per family.
Housing is an eclectic mix. Drive down any street and you’re liable to find a craftsman-style bungalow, 1920’s Spanish stucco, and a modern ranch home living side-by-side. In recent years, multi-storied McMansions have filtered into Riverside Heights creating an even wider range in the hodgepodge of styles for the area.
Numerous private schools are within an easy commute from Riverside Heights. The most prominent, Villa Madonna, located at 315 W. Columbus Drive, is technically outside the area’s eastern boundary. Run by the Salesian Sisters, the school has provided a quality educational experience for local children since 1936.
Public school general assignments for children of Riverside Heights include:
B. C. Graham Elementary (Kindergarten through 5th grade)
2915 Massachusetts Avenue
Graham is a “walk” school, meaning there is no bus transportation. While a crossing guard is available at the traffic light at W. West St. and North Blvd., there are few sidewalks in Riverside Heights, meaning children must walk to school down the street.
Madison Middle School (6th through 8th grade)
4444 Bay Vista Avenue
Hillsborough High School (9th through 12th grade)
5000 Central Avenue
Magnet schools are also available via an application process.
The Florida Department of Education posts a school grading system, a report card for every public school in Florida.
While there are no libraries within the boundaries of Riverside Heights, Tampa’s main public library, John F. Germany, is approximately three miles away at the northern edge of downtown Tampa. For a smaller, more personal experience, check out the Seminole Heights branch a short drive north on Central Avenue.
Postal services are probably one of the most confusing aspects of living in Riverside Heights. The official post office is located at 401 N. Ashley Street, near Kennedy Blvd. in downtown Tampa. You will need to feed a meter as there is no post office parking. Held mail cannot be picked up at this location. For vacation stops, it is best to have your carrier restart delivery upon your return.
For most mail services, it is much easier to use the Seminole Heights Post Office at 5206 N. Florida Avenue. There is free parking available, usually lines are short or non-existent, and the clerks are friendly and helpful. For 24-hour service and a dedicated passport office, the airport post office is easily accessible via Columbus Drive.
The City of Tampa operates several parks in the Riverside Heights area, including:
1298 W. Coral
This is the location where most of the Homeowner’s Association community activities take place, including the Annual Easter Egg Hunt.
3710 N. Poplar
3100 N. Oakdale