Round One of the Curbed Cup, our annual award for Atlanta's neighborhood of the year, draws to a close today with two final head-to-head challenges before the entire tournament bracket is revealed tomorrow. This is serious business. The title and a beautiful (fake) trophy are up for grabs. Make sure your 'hood isn't eliminated. The first contenders for today's battles are family-friendly Decatur and Beltline community West End. Which will be eliminated? You have 24 hours to decide.
Sometimes referred to as "where Mayberry meets Berkeley," there's not much the city of Decatur doesn't have. A gorgeous square with some of the metro area's best restaurants that hosts festivals for lovers of books, wine, craft beer, the arts and more? Got it. Bike lanes, parks and walkability? Yep. Charming historic houses that people are willing to pay ridiculous prices for because they're in one of the metro's best school districts? Absolutely. Yes, the only thing Decatur is lacking these days is affordability for the average Joe (especially if that Joe happens to be childless). That said, the sound of hammers is constant and between the Trinity Triangle mixed-use development and the new apartments on Ponce, Decatur will soon see more than 600 new residential units near downtown. Whether those will provide a more affordable option remains to be seen. Is Decatur really greater? Only you can say for sure.
(10) WEST END:
It may not have Decatur's stellar school system, but West End does have something Decatur covets: the Beltline. The zero mile marker sits in the tight-knit community of West End and it's helping to make the historic neighborhood a destination for first-time home buyers who see a resurgence coming and like the idea of getting a handsome historic renovation for under $200,000. After hitting a rough patch in the eighties, West End's resurgence is now in full effect with the area hosting its first Streets Alive Festival last year and slowly but surely filling out vacant commercial areas. It would also be a mistake to overlook West End's art and culture, things like the West End Performing Arts Center, which showcases neighborhood artists; the Wren's Nest, the former home of Joel Chandler Harris, which now hosts writing and publishing programs for students; and the Hammonds House Museum, which is devoted to artists of African descent.