Life in Downtown North revolves around the dynamic artery of University Avenue. Home to acclaimed companies, city infrastructure, and a Michelin-starred restaurant (Maum), many neighboring cities envy what Downtown North is today. 

Initially serving the amalgamation of housing demands and daily needs of the Stanford University community, the neighborhood is a thriving and eclectic mix of diverse residential and commercial buildings. In fact, Downtown Palo Alto features the city’s highest concentration of condominiums with apartment-style condos, townhouses with street access, and other planned unit developments occupying most of the area’s housing stock. 

Although by no means a definitive rule of thumb, lot sizes for single-family homes in the area skew smaller, averaging about 5,300 square feet. The modest bungalow style homes, that were originally built for the first staff members of Stanford University, can be seen scattered throughout the downtown area. Crossing University Avenue to the south, the homes get bigger and the streets widen. 

For many, this neighborhood provides the perfect balance of desirable living space and walkability to shops, restaurants, and recreation. The nature of its proximity, coupled with most homes having only single-car garages, does negatively impact on-street parking. However, given the strong desire for an urban and pedestrian lifestyle, most residents overlook this –focusing instead on the many intrinsic perks that come with living in the heart of Palo Alto.


  • San Francisquito Creek on the north
  • Middlefield Road on the east
  • Addison Avenue on the south
  • Alma Street on the west

Public Schools

  • Addison Elementary School (K-5) (#10 Elementary School in California)
  • Jordan Middle School (6-8) (#3 Middle School in California)
  • Palo Alto High School (#5 High School in California)

(state-ranked according to niche.com)


  • Downtown Library- 270 Forest Avenue Palo Alto, CA 94301


  • Cogswell Plaza- 264 Lytton Avenue Palo Alto, CA 94301
  • El Camino Park- 100 El Camino Real Palo Alto, CA 94301
  • El Palo Alto Park- 117 Palo Alto Avenue Palo Alto, CA 94301
  • Hopkins Creekside Park- Palo Alto Avenue Palo Alto, CA 94301
  • Johnson Park- Everett Avenue Palo Alto, CA 94301