Today's second match is something of a Goliath vs. David situation, but as past tourneys have shown, sheer population does not a Curbed Cup champion make. Let's welcome cosmopolitan Midtown (No. 6) and historic East Lake (No. 11) to the quest for Atlanta's 2015 "Neighborhood of the Year" title and that glorious fake trophy. Reader nominations determined tournament seeding, and now voting for each pairing will end 24 hours after it begins. Let the Round 1 eliminations commence!
For those who equate the presence of construction cranes with neighborhood quality, there's no denying that explosive Midtown has been certified Grade A in 2015. With more than 50 projects recently delivered or in some stage of development, Midtown is like a crane habitat again, with years' worth of cityscape alterations still to come. This year saw the extension of bike lanes into Midtown's heart, the unveiling of plans for Colony Square's overhaul, a world-class puppetry exhibit's debut, the long-awaited return of actual new condos and far too many high-rise proposals to list. Welcome to Southern-fried Manhattan, y'all.
(11) EAST LAKE
Homebuyers without mega-budgets who dig tight-knit urban neighborhoods continued to flock to historic East Lake in 2015. Last summer, homes were fetching 98 percent of asking prices, but with average sales of $332,000 — relatively affordable compared to East Lake's direct neighbors to the north. What's driving that interest, beside a glorious golf course designed by Bobby Jones? East Lake has first-tier status with Drew Charter School, whose architecturally dazzling junior and senior academy wrapped its first school year in 2015. What's more, word has gotten out that East Lake will have its own commercial village soon, built mostly from the bones of old structures.