The Curbed Cup, our annual award for Atlanta’s “Neighborhood of the Year,” is kicking off with 16 neighborhoods vying for the prestigious (fake) trophy. We’ll reveal each of the neighborhoods this week, and polls will be open for 24 hours, so you can cast your vote as to which ones should advance. (Seeding from 1 to 16 was determined by reader nominations this month). Now, let the eliminations commence!
East Atlanta (6)
All hail the reigning Curbed Cup champion—East Atlanta!—as it struts, chest puffed, into this year’s quest for “Neighborhood of the Year” prestige.
The champ’s first contest won’t be easy, however, as it squares off against 2015 victor West End in a repeat of last year’s most diametrically opposed (in terms of Atlanta geography) Elite Eight bout.
Aside from that time when Interstate 20 strangely buckled near Flat Shoals Avenue, it’s been a pretty solid year for the EAV and its surroundings. South of the neighborhood’s famed village (where a bagel brick-and-mortar is still hotly anticipated), a pocket of 84 townhomes was announced with prices that’ll be, refreshingly, not a half-million bucks. (They’ll start in the high $200,000s, with at least three bedrooms, in fact).
Speaking of a cool half-mil, numerous houses achieved north of that mark in East Atlanta this year (including an apparent record $589,000 in May), for better or worse. Meanwhile, in some cases, home renovations in this neck of the woods got more and more adventurous—not to everyone’s liking, but no one ever called adventure boring.
West End (11)
But lest East Atlanta—and the rest of the tournament, for that matter—forget that West End smashed voting records en route to its title two years ago. And in terms of seismic change, 2017 may have been West End’s biggest year in decades.
Brimming with classic architecture and #westendbestend pride, the historic neighborhood welcomed bike share this year, which pairs nicely with its heaping helping of the Beltline’s Westside Trail (although the project wasn’t without controversy amid the ribbon-cutting hoopla).
By all accounts, the first new business to sprout alongside the trail—Lean Draft House, which enlivened a dilapidated office building—was an overnight hit back in June. A couple of months later, Monday Night Brewing’s festive Garage debuted as the first offering in the Beltline-adjacent Lee+White complex, an adaptive-reuse of warehouses.
Renovated older bungalows in West End continued to be hot commodities, though some at prices that stoked gentrification concerns.