The name Alessandro was given to a town site platted in 1887 near what is now the March Air Reserve Base/March Inland Port. The name was taken from Helen Hunt Jackson’s book “Ramona,” and was the name of the heroine’s husband.
The Alessandro Heights neighborhood is in the southernmost part of the original 39.4 square miles incorporated as the City of Riverside, and was expanded by annexations in 2001 and 2007. The neighborhood is bordered by the Hawarden Hills and Canyon Crest neighborhoods to the north, Washington Street and the Arlington Heights neighborhood to the west, the community of Woodcrest in the County to the south and the Mission Grove neighborhood to the east.
The area remained largely undeveloped, until much of residential development that exists today began to occur in the 80’s. Alessandro Heights is strictly a low density, large lot single-family residential neighborhood developed primarily with estate homes within a hilly area that offers many homeowners spectacular views of the surrounding area. The neighborhood offers a secluded setting within the rolling hills that gives it its quiet and peaceful charm.
Access to the neighborhood is limited, and mainly comes from Washington Street to the west. From Washington Street, Overlook Parkway, which is designated as a “Scenic Boulevard” in the General Plan 2025, is a street with a generous and well landscaped median providing an attractive tree lined corridor into the neighborhood. Overlook Parkway winds its way up into the hills eventually reaching some of the most luxurious homes in the City. According to the 2000 Census, the largest homes, highest property values, and highest income levels are all found in Alessandro Heights.
The neighborhood is enriched with three major natural arroyos; Alessandro, Prenda, and Woodcrest. Arroyos are not just conduits for water, but rich and varied areas of animal and plant life. Because the arroyos are very important and valuable natural features, residential development has occurred in a manner designed to protect and preserve the arroyos and natural features of the neighborhood. In addition to the arroyos, the undeveloped east side of this small community boasts rugged topography and natural plateaus. The terrain, combined with the estate residential development, make this neighborhood one of the more distinguished areas in the City of Riverside.