RIVIERA at WEST VILLAGE Apartments – INSIDER REVIEW
The Riviera at West Village apartments are a 4 story “traditional” complex in a very good location, in the middle of Uptown Dallas. It was completed in the 1990s. It is about 1 walking block from the busy main street of McKinney Avenue. It is also about the same distance from the West Village as well. I would consider this location as prime, definitely.
Walking directly around the Riviera at West Village apartments: The area is actually “tucked back” a bit from the busier portion of Uptown Dallas, but not by much…it is deceptive in a good way. It feels very quiet here, amazingly quiet. But, literally, you just walk a few minutes, and you are in “the action”.
Look outside the leasing office/main lobby: You see some unobtrusive office space across the street (short, small buildings) and you see the Turtle Creek Bridge in the distance. That means the Katy Trail (more on that below) is close! You also see 2 busy streets, each side of Lemmon Avenue (east and west). And, you also see one other apartment complex. That is really about it. It is quiet and laid back here, like a little pocket of quiet in Uptown Dallas.
Access Out to Downtown or North: If you work in downtown, you are in a great location to quickly get out to Downtown. You can take Lemmon out to Cedar Springs for an easier route. Or, you can take the more scenic, but LONGER route to get back on McKinney Avenue. And, if you want to get to North Dallas or Plano, then take Lemmon to the Tollway. It is about 7 minutes to the North Dallas Tollway. This gets you to the airport as well.
Access to the 4 Key Features of Uptown Dallas: So, with the general location being a good one, let’s see how this location is in terms of getting you quick access to the 4 key features of Uptown Dallas. These are the most important features of Uptown, to get you the social life and fun that Uptown Dallas offers. By good access, I mean being able to WALK in about 7 minutes. So, how does the Riviera West Village apartments do in terms of being able to walk to the 4 Key Features of Uptown Dallas?
- Katy Trail – The Katy Trail means 2 things to Uptown Dallas residents: great workouts and making friends. The Riviera at West Village is under 5 minutes to walk, and you can see the unofficial path to enter it from the leasing office. Love it!
- Uptown Trolley – Being near the FREE UPTOWN TROLLEY is important. Why? The trolley takes you all through Uptown Dallas along McKinney Avenue, even late at night on the weekends for dinner or night spots. The Riviera West Village apartments has a free Trolley pickup that you can catch just a few minutes walking distance, on Cole Avenue.
- West Village – It is important to be close to the West Village, because there are great restaurants AND night clubs there in addition to the shops. And the good news, you can quickly walk to the West Village in about 3 minutes. Nice…so nice…
- Night Life in Mid-Section – There is a “super cluster” section of night clubs along McKinney Avenue that people think of as “the night life” of Uptown Dallas, even though there are several other terrific sections. (That cluster starts around Boll Street and ends around Holland, all on McKinney Avenue.) From this location, it is not really walkable. You must take your car, or get on the Uptown Trolley to get there, but it is a super short drive.
Walk to Groceries? It’s not right next door to groceries, but pretty close, and in walking distance. The closest grocery store is on McKinney Avenue and Lemmon, the longtime fixture of the Albertson’s. If you need more choices, you can DRIVE to the nearby KROGER with organic, Texas grown produce, (drive on Blackburn and cross the freeway). You can also take a quick drive NORTH on McKinney to then get to TRADER JOES or take Lemmon to the North Dallas Tollway for the WHOLE FOODS.
Overall Location: The location is a good one. It is quieter at night, but will give you very quick walking access to most of the important things of Uptown Dallas. Now, what about the social scene at the Riviera?
The social scene of the Riviera at West Village is laid back but has the capability of being very cool. Let’s explore a few details about that. Restaurants and Clubs in QUICK walking distance: You have a few clubs and restaurants around that area, off the beaten bath. There is the Gloria’s Tex-Mex, on Lemmon, just a couple of minutes away. There is also a shopping center on Lemmon with night spots and some shops. Not much besides this…but then there is the West Village.
The West Village areas nearby: The West Village is also in quick walking distance, about 3 minutes away. You can see it if you step outside on the sidewalk from the leasing office and then turn right. Because you are this close to the West Village, you have a BUNCH of restaurants and clubs and shops all at your quick access. Translation: You have a LOT to walk to in the West Village, and the surrounding blocks that are associated with the West Village!
The Katy Trail. Wow, almost couldn’t be closer…as I mentioned above, you can see an unofficial trail on a little hill that leads up to the Trail. This isn’t an official entrance, but it gets you there anyway. Being this close to the trail means increased social life, in addition to better fitness. So many people use the trail in Uptown Dallas and it is known as a great social scene by itself.
The Amenities: The amenities of the Riviera at West Village apartments are very average. I don’t feel like these amenities contribute much to meeting people.
Building Setup: The building design itself can help you meet a lot of people. If a building has things like elevators (especially one common set), a common mailbox area and other things where you see other residents regularly, then you can meet other people more easily. The Riviera West Village apartments is a little mixed in this, because the buildings are very spread out, and there are several ways to enter/exit. However, there are common mailboxes and a common driving entrance. So, the building setup helps a little bit, but not as much as other Uptown Dallas choices.
Monthly Activities: This is a social area, and so many Uptown Dallas apartments have SOME sort of monthly activity to help you meet other residents. The Riviera at West Village apartments does NOT have regular events to help you meet residents. Ugh. Size: The Riviera at West Village is a SMALLER property, with 150 units. They also have fewer apartments per floor as well. This is a spread out community. You have a chance to get to know your neighbors, definitely. To sum it up: The location itself makes this a good social scene. There is an amazing amount of things to walk to and ways to meet people here. The apartment building and activities don’t add as much to the social scene as other Uptown properties. But, you will also get privacy here, so it is maybe a balance.
Style: The apartments at the Riviera at West Village are more casual and standard. They do have a good “home” style feeling, due to a recent upgrade. The hallways are not climate controlled, but are open air. Once you have access through the parking gates, then you either can walk up stairs or use the elevators. The feel here is pretty easy going and laid back.
Variety of Floor Plans: The Riviera at West Village offers a smaller variety of floor plans than other Uptown apartments. They include one bedrooms (more variety) and two bedrooms.
Features: Let’s take a look at what specific features are included in the Riviera at West Village:
- Hardwood style floors – Due to a recent upgrade, a hardwood style floor is included in the living and dining areas. It isn’t a super high quality floor, but it is nice enough.
- Decent amount of natural light: The Riviera West Village floor plans are older…they were built in the later 1990s. However, they do include patios and decent amounts of natural light.
- Newer appliances – Appliances are newer and all of the right ones are included. This was due to the update.
- Patios/Balconies INCLUDED – The majority of apartments have a patio or balcony. That’s better than many places in Uptown.
- Granite Countertops – a majority of apartments here have granite countertops, but not all of them.
- Closets – Closets are good sized.
The Riviera at West Village also has some weak spots:
- Washer/dryer not included – The Riviera at West Village does not include a washer/dryer set. But, they DO include a laundry room to make up for that. So, this is not as huge of a weakness.
- No walk in showers – The apartments here were built before walk in showers were a design feature. So, they do not include this feature. So, that means you take a quick trip to Target for shower rings and a curtain. L
- Kitchens a little small – The actual kitchen space seems a bit small. However, they do include a pantry, which is also uncommon. That makes up for some of the space issue.
- Open Air Hallways – The hallways are open air, so that will make accessing your apartment in certain higher or lower temperature days a little uncomfortable at times.
Note: There is a very cool one bedroom floor plan that is one of the best deals in Uptown Dallas. It is listed as a one bedroom, but includes a study that CLOSES OFF and includes a small closet. This makes it effectively a 2 bedroom. Overall, the apartment is what I would consider average. But, keep in mind the cost is also lower than other Uptown Dallas Apartments.
The amenities at the Riviera at West Village are basic only, with no frills. To sum it up, the Riviera at West Village could include better amenities. Let’s explore the amenities that ARE included:
- Parking Garage Space INCLUDED: The parking garage is closed off and this feature is included at no charge.
- GUEST parking INCLUDED: This is an unusual feature that they have. When you lease at the Riviera, you actually get your OWN parking pass, and then they give you an EXTRA PASS that you can use for guests. Use this to get into the garage.
- Dog Park interior: There is a very nice and large space for walking your dog well inside the apartment, so you do not have to go outside of the actual complex. This helps if your dog needs to be walked at 11 pm at night, and is super convenient. It is also unusual to have this much space dedicated internally to help pet owners. Excellent, Riviera at West Village!
- Internal Green Space in General – I like how much green space there is inside the Riviera at West Village grounds to explore or enjoy, for your pet or to just enjoy the outdoors. This is very unusual for Uptown apartments and is a nice plus.
Let’s explore the amenities that are NOT included:
- GYM – Very small, nothing much to speak of. Join a local gym.
- Laundry Room NOT INCLUDED: One of my pet peeves is that if an apartment doesn’t normally include washer/dryers, it should at least include a laundry room. Riviera West Village does not include the laundry room. You must rent or buy a washer/dryer set…there are at least connections for these.
- Parking in general – because of the location being close to the West Village Dallas and Primo’s, etc….outsiders tend to try to use the garage here to park temporarily. It’s a constant battle, and it means on busy event weekends (think OU v Texas), you might get annoyed trying to find parking for yourself. Ugh.
- No interior dog run – There is space outside, but nothing inside the building.
- Limited Controlled Access – there are gates at the front of the entrance, and a controlled access point near the front as well. But, I think they need to beef this up a bit.
Overall: Amenities are average, maybe slightly below average. But, important basics are covered nicely.
SUMMARY The Riviera at West Village apartments have a laid back location that will give you quick walking access to many key attractions in Uptown Dallas. The price is below the average Uptown Dallas price. Their apartments feel comfortable and the amenities are adequate, not great.