Because of the area’s citrus-oriented history, much of the neighborhood was used for citrus fruit farming until the early 1980s, thus giving the neighborhood its name. The area is a relatively new addition to the city of Riverside, having been annexed into the city in 1986, with a large chunk of the community being annexed into the city. The transformation from agricultural to the suburban area that exists today began in January 1984, when the Orangecrest Specific Plan, covering 1,514 acres, was approved by the Board of Supervisors of the County of Orange. Residential, commercial, educational, and recreational uses were all integrated into the development of the area as part of a master plan. Recently approved City annexations have allowed the Orangecrest neighborhood to grow by 947 acres to the west, resulting in a neighborhood that presently encompasses 2,461 acres in size.
In the most southeasterly part of the city, the Orangecrest Neighborhood is bordered to the east and south by March Joint Powers Authority land, to the north by the Mission Grove Neighborhood, and to the south by the unincorporated Woodcrest area of the County. The Orangecrest Neighborhood is bounded to the north by the Mission Grove Neighborhood, and to the west by the unincorporated Woodcrest area of the County. It’s not too far from Hawarden Hills.
Since its annexation by the City in 1986, Orangecrest has grown into a well-established neighborhood that is considered to be one of the most desirable in the city. Many young families opt to raise their children in the neighborhood, taking advantage of the many contemporary schools and public services that are available to them and their children. The area consists primarily of single-family homes, with 91 percent of the homes in the neighborhood being occupied by their respective owners, according to the 2000 Census figures. Retail uses are focused in the local shopping centers located at Trautwein Road and Van Buren Boulevard, which serve a diverse range of customers. A variety of well-known retailers and shops, such as Kohl’s and Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, are conveniently located near the Orangecrest neighborhood.
The area is home to a number of excellent public and private schools, including Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Rivera, John F. Kennedy, and Mark Twain Elementary Schools, Amelia Earhart Middle School, Martin Luther King High School, and Woodcrest Christian Middle and High Schools. The neighborhood is well-served by public amenities such as parks and recreation centers. The Orangecrest Fire Station is a proud member of the community, ready to serve its residents. The Orange Terrace Community Park, a recently created 30-acre community park with a 24,000-square-foot community center and a 13,000-square-foot full service library, as well as the Thundersky and Bergamont neighborhood parks, provide for the recreational needs of the neighborhood. These beautiful parks offer a wide range of services, including athletic fields and courts, fitness courses, picnic areas, and restrooms, among others.