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Curbed Cup 1st Round: (8) Candler Park vs. (9) Downtown

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The final Round 1 contest pits the two most closely seeded contenders — Candler Park (No. 8) and downtown (No. 9) — in a duel for the last remaining spot in the Curbed Cup Elite Eight. Reader nominations determined tournament seeding, and now voting for each pairing will end 24 hours after it begins. Tomorrow, we'll review the week's eight matches and unveil the bracket of winners. So, the quest for 2015's "Neighborhood of the Year" hereby resumes. The imaginary Curbed Cup chalice of wonder awaits. Let the eliminations commence!

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(No. 8) CANDLER PARK

This sylvan east-side nabe has been on the come-up for decades, and aside from old-stock renovations, some new housing and multi-family construction on DeKalb Avenue, not much has really changed in 2015. Because, as one anonymous nominator puts it, nothing has to change when you're awesome. We'll let them take it from here: "Candler Park! No new developments, just a great, walkable, historic 'hood. We have great local businesses (Candler Park Market, Tough Love Yoga, Balance Design, to name a few) and restaurants (the original Flying Biscuit, new venture Eat Me Speak Me, etc.), a great public school (Mary Lin), awesome central park (Candler, of course), and a wide mix of residential options including apartments, condos, bungalows and pricier homes. It's a great place to live!"

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(No. 9) DOWNTOWN

Downtown has been on a verifiable roll for a couple of years, in terms of its growing prominence as a hub for local business minds (see: the Flatiron building's redo and the Western & Atlantic project on Spring Street), educational powerhouse (see: Georgia State University's unstoppable expansions) and tourist magnet (see: everywhere). Sure, the Atlanta Streetcar has taken some lumps, but at least it's the start of an alt-transit network — and it's free. A bike-sharing program is pedaling its way to downtown, Centennial Olympic Park just bagged $10 million for its makeover plans, and the city's most substantial construction project — the Atlanta Falcons' new roost — promises to make an architectural statement quite soon.


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