An eclectic mix of homes—including some of the city’s oldest—fills this neighborhood northeast of downtown. Northside Elementary was rebranded in 2014 as a K–8 magnet school, A2STEAM at Northside. A community center draws neighbors to its steps and baseball players to Northside Park’s fields behind the school.

Just north of the Huron River, Lower Town has some of the city’s oldest surviving houses such as the Guy Beckley House, built in New England Georgian style, at the corner of Pontiac Tr. and Argo. It was once a stop on the Underground Railroad.

Rising northward from the river, the Broadway neighborhood combines rental housing with older single-family houses on large, well-kept lots on and near Cedar Bend, a street that offers spectacular views of the Huron River valley and leads down a rutted path to Cedar Bend Nature Area. Many older homes have been rehabilitated, and the area has become more popular with families who have young children. Rentals, including the vast 3-building Beekman on Broadway complex, with two buildings recently opened and the final one under construction, attract U-M hospital workers.

In the established, low-key, well-integrated neighborhood off Pontiac Tr., neighbors fix their cars, children play tag in the streets, and retirees sit in rockers on the porch. Longshore is a quiet road tracing the top of the bluff above the river. A popular boardwalk along Barton provides pedestrian access to Bandemer Park and combines with a bicycle path to complete a walking and biking loop around Argo Pond.

Farther up Pontiac Tr., the brick Cape Cods off Brookside and Skydale in the Huron Highlands area are home to families, retirees, and singles. The North Sky subdivision features stately brick 1- and 2-story homes on sizable lots. On Leslie Park Cir., newer midsize homes offer easy access to its namesake park, with its golf course and nature area. With Leslie and Olson parks at Dhu Varren and Pontiac Tr., Northside offers some of the largest recreation spaces in the city.

At the edge of town, the 350 townhouses of the Arrowwood Hills Cooperative, the city’s largest, rest on 44 landscaped acres; this complex, too, offers easy access to nature areas, and a bus line is at the front entrance. On the west side of Pontiac Tr., The One offers newly built student houses and townhomes, and North Sky subdivision recently opened as well.

The area south of Plymouth Rd. and west of Huron Pkwy. is dominated by the U-M’s North Campus, a mixture of classroom and research buildings, residence halls, and rental apartments and townhouses for students and staff. Students also are abundant in the 160-unit Parc Pointe, the 84-unit Broadview, and the 130-unit Highlands apartments, on either side of Plymouth Rd. at the top of the Broadway hill. East of Broadway, the Courtyards targets its 1- to 4-bedroom units exclusively to students, with individual leases and amenities like free Wi-Fi and outdoor party spaces. Farther from campus, Traver Knoll’s 216 units draw a more diverse population.

More apartments and condos cluster along the Huron River, including 348-unit Island Drive, 201-unit Medical Center Court, 128-unit Shoreview, and 60-unit Riverside Park Place. Broadway Park West, also along the Huron River, plans to break ground in early 2024 and will consist of four buildings of condos surrounding a public park and ice rink. Other condos include the 1960s-vintage Riverhouse, with 128 apartments off Island Dr., the 62-unit Nielsen Square on Maiden Ln., and the 112-unit Northside Glen, at Pontiac Tr. and Dhu Varren, both built around the turn of the century, and Bristol Ridge, off Pontiac Tr. south of Dhu Varren, which is now welcoming its first occupants. 

Northside is in the Clague Middle School and Skyline High areas, except for North Campus, where children are bused to Tappan and then go to Huron High. Some Arrowwood Hills students are bused to Thurston Elementary.

Bike paths: Areas near the U-M’s North Campus are well supplied with bike lanes and paths on Barton, Pontiac Tr., Wall, Dhu Varren, and most of Nixon. Plymouth Rd. has a buffered and protected bike lane. Broadway is a “neighborhood connector,” with road markings to guide bikers to their destinations.

Walking: A2STEAM at Northside has a Walk Score of 34, and walkability here depends on proximity to Plymouth Rd. shopping; student renters are better off than homeowners.