La Sierra, which stretches between the city’s western edge and the Arlington neighborhood, is a large and complex neighborhood that serves as the city’s western gateway. It is home to a diverse population of people. When voters approved annexation of the La Sierra neighborhood into the City of Riverside in 1964, it became a component of the city. Rancho La Sierra de Sepulveda, the original Mexican land grant that gave rise to La Sierra, was the inspiration for the town’s name. The campus of La Sierra University is situated in the middle of the community. The Seventh Day Adventist Church purchased the land on which the campus was built in order to create an academy. It now encompasses roughly 140 acres and has a student population of over 2,000. With an arboretum, a large library with many museums and an observatory among its many other features, the grounds are very impressive.
The La Sierra neighborhood can be thought of as a city inside a city. Other notable landmarks in the neighborhood include the Galleria at Tyler, Kaiser Hospital, Riverwalk, and Five-Points, a unique intersection/crossroads situated at the intersection of Hole and La Sierra Avenues. Business parks, retail, and a diverse range of residential development are all part of the neighborhood’s unique character. In the majority of the neighborhood, single-family homes with a medium density are found; nevertheless, the community also contains portions with homes on larger rural-style lots, gated planned residential developments, and high-density apartments near La Sierra University and along Magnolia Avenue. In addition to serving the entire area, the La Sierra Metrolink Station is also conveniently positioned adjacent to the La Sierra neighborhood, allowing for easy access.
As a result of the Riverwalk master planned community, which opened in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the neighborhood experienced significant growth, with more than 1,000 new single-family homes and more than 500 luxury apartments being built in the area. A renowned business park, known as “The Shops at Riverwalk,” is located within Riverwalk and is comprised of light industrial, offices, medical offices, and retail space. Because to its handy location near the Riverside (91) Freeway, the business park is a great source of employment possibilities for the surrounding community. Riverwalk Parkway, a significant new roadway that provides convenient access to the core of the neighborhood, is a major new roadway that provides access to the community. Known as the “Walk Through Time,” a linear park with linked paseos is planned along Riverwalk Parkway to present an overview of the region’s history through a series of interconnected paseos. Another noteworthy development is the Galleria at Tyler’s 2007 expansion, which featured the installation of a sixteen-screen theater as well as numerous exquisite restaurants such as P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Cheesecake Factory, and Elephant Bar, further strengthening this prime shopping destination.
The La Sierra neighborhood is served by a number of excellent schools, including La Sierra High School and a number of neighborhood elementary schools. The La Sierra Fire Station #8, the La Sierra Library, the Magnolia Policing Center, the La Sierra Park and Community Center, Collett Park, Myra Linn Park, Rancho Loma Park, and the Riverwalk Dog Park are just a few of the public amenities available. Two new children’s playgrounds, a lighted basketball court, and picnic facilities were added to La Sierra Park in 2008, as part of an expansion and renovation project that included the park. A new Senior Center will be built in the park in the near future. The park offers a diverse selection of recreational and fitness options.