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Curbed Cup 1st Round: (7) Kirkwood vs. (10) Howell Station

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Which neighborhood should advance? Cast your vote now!

A rendering of forthcoming luxury apartment development The Kirkwood, scheduled for early 2018 delivery, hopes to add vitality to the neighborhood’s commercial village.
Forthcoming luxury apartment development The Kirkwood, scheduled for early 2018 delivery, hopes to add vitality to the neighborhood’s commercial village.
Wesley Apartment Homes/The Kirkwood/FB

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!

Kirkwood (7)

Back in the 2013 tourney, Kirkwood achieved eternal Curbed Cup acclaim by edging eastside brethren Grant Park in the championship match, scoring 50.2 percent of many thousands of votes. K-wood made a charge to the finals in 2015, and to the Final Fours of 2014 and 2016, but it’s ultimately failed to be crowned Atlanta’s first repeat champ. Because close only counts in horseshoes and mayoral elections.

On the large-scale development front, Kirkwood was active in 2017, most notably because long-neglected but historic Pullman Yard—said to be Atlanta’s largest undeveloped piece on the eastside—was bought by a group who plans to actually make something useful of it, beginning in early 2018.

Elsewhere, a formerly blighted property connected to Kirkwood’s downtown village has been transformed into The Kirkwood, described as the neighborhood’s only “mid-rise, covered-deck parking, multifamily rental product.” Its roughly 270 apartments are expected to begin opening next month, with 15 floorplan options.

“Kirkwood is a great intown neighborhood,” as one nominator named Dan put it. “Good amount of greenspace and urban forest, very walkable, increasingly vibrant downtown with restaurants and shops, and a variety of architectural styles among houses and apartment buildings. And not overcrowded like some other intown neighborhoods. Still has a local, small-town neighborhood feel within the larger Atlanta megalopolis.”

Howell Station (10)

Under-the-radar Howell Station made big news this year when Atlanta city officials announced that its game-changing neighbor—Bellwood Quarry, poised to become the city’s largest park—will begin to open within two years. (Eventually, the 280-acre greenspace will count Beltline frontage and what should be a remarkable water feature).

Listed at $519,000, this new urban-farmhouse property in Howell Station recently attracted multiple offers, per a local.
Avenue Realty

But, for now, Howell Station (aka Knight Park Historic District) is a leafy, close-knit community tucked just west of the King Plow Arts Center. Surrounded by light industrial activity and adaptive-reuse hubs, the neighborhood boasts four historical churches, recreational Knight Park, and an assortment of residential offerings, ranging stylistically from shotguns to Queen Anne cottages and new-build urban farmhouses. It’s one of the few places in Atlanta with an actual, logical street grid.

“Howell Station/Knight Park (‘HSKP’) is a community on the rise!” says one supporter named Anthony. “Adjacent to the future Westside Beltline and Bellwood Quarry, this small, oft-overlooked neighborhood has an active neighborhood association. If you drive through HSKP, you’ll find kids playing in the streets, parents pushing strollers, and dogs being walked by their owners. Stop and ask anyone about the neighborhood and they'll tell you that [they] love living there and very rarely have any issues with petty crime that seem to plague more well-known parts of Atlanta. In terms of real estate, those looking to purchase a home can still get a good deal (for Atlanta), but those deals go quickly.”