Surprisingly, College Park is making its Curbed Cup debut in 2016, following an outpouring of heartfelt nominations that included this line from a longtime resident: “We have a huge community of artists, attracted to the bohemian lifestyle of being in a diverse, transit-friendly, still-affordable, historic part of town just a couple miles from the Beltline and 11 miles from Midtown.” Indeed, College Park may still be under-the-radar, but it’s what many would considered strategically located next to the airport and Interstate 85, boasting a revitalizing Main Street corridor and one of MARTA’s busiest train stations. This year, the historic downtown welcomed its first large installment of apartments in ages, The Pad on Harvard, its first curated art gallery, Paper Plane, and a large-scale public mural by YoYo Ferro. That all compliments culinary offerings like The Duck Club, The Pig and the Pint, Rev Coffee Roasters, and Tony Morrow’s BBQ. History buffs, take note: With more than 850 properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places, College Park is Georgia’s fourth largest urban historic district.
Old Fourth Ward
With one Curbed Cup (2012) to its name already, the always formidable Old Fourth Ward is angling to start from the near-bottom (thanks to a relative trickle of nominations) to become Atlanta’s first repeat champion in 2016. No neighborhood in Atlanta has been more impacted by the Beltline thus far, with entire streets rendered unrecognizable in recent years, projects like Historic Fourth Ward Park springing from wasteland, and homes in the $800,000 echelon becoming commonplace. This is a huge, eclectic chunk of the city, from the burgeoning nightlife scene and streetcar service of Edgewood Avenue, to the award-winning, adaptive-reuse zeitgeist that is Ponce City Market. Recent development successes include the new Boulevard complex for seniors, City Lights, and the in-progress boutique hotel near Studioplex modeled after architecture along Manhattan’s High Line. On a less upbeat note, 2016 saw the demise of The Masquerade’s endearingly scabby digs (though the historic components will be preserved in the mixed-use successor), as the planned Atlanta Civic Center redevelopment petered out. But Staplehouse could atone for all of that and more.