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Curbed Cup Elite Eight: (3) Chamblee vs. (11) West End

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Which neighborhood should advance to the Final Four?

A photo of the 5300 Lofts in Chamblee’s historic district.
The 5300 Lofts in Chamblee’s historic district.

The Curbed Cup, our annual award for Atlanta’s “Neighborhood of the Year,” kicked off last week with 16 neighborhoods vying for the prestigious (fake) trophy. Now it’s time for Elite Eight action! (Seeding from 1 to 16 was determined by reader nominations this month). Polls will be open for 24 hours, so let the eliminations resume!

Chamblee (3)

In Round 1 action last week, Chamblee made a statement by capturing nearly 54 percent of votes over storied Virginia-Highland. But that’s nothing unusual for an urbanizing ITP hub that scored enough readers nominations in 2016 to land the tournament’s top seed.

Still, the glorious, imaginary Curbed Cup has eluded Chamblee’s grasp throughout the years.

It’s ironic that autocorrect is so eager to transform “Chamblee’s” into “Shambles,” when that couldn’t be further from the truth. This proud community of about 16,000 31,000 (per 2010 Census)—a relatively unsung bastion of cheaper condos and lofts that can still be found in the high $100,000s—surged forward forward in 2017 with not only stylish apartments (The Olmsted) but affordable housing for seniors. All within a quick stroll of Chamblee’s MARTA train station.

Speaking of MARTA, the transit agency broke ground on its latest transit-oriented development in May, alongside Chamblee’s Gold Line. The two-phased Trackside project will eventually feature 80,000 square feet of offices and 13,000 square feet of retail, which sounds like a fine, progressive complement to the aforementioned condos in the vicinity.

West End (11)

Despite a relatively low seed, 2015 Curbed Cup victor West End resumed its winning ways in last week’s opening round, ousting reigning champion East Atlanta with nearly 56 percent of votes.

At West End’s Lee+White redevelopment, Monday Night Brewing's Garage can be seen in the courtyard past the future home of Wild Heaven.
Curbed Atlanta photo essay

Could West End be on a roll like its neighbor, top-seeded Westview, which has already stormed to the Final Four promised land? Maybe, unless Chamblee says otherwise.

As with Westview, 2017 was a year of anticipation and debuts in West End—the year the Beltline’s Westside Trail came to town and one pretty old home sold for the previously unthinkable $425,000. That was $20,000 over asking, and not to everyone’s liking.

Other West End occurrences this year included the unveiling of Lean Draft House, a fresh slate of Beltline art, and the initial openings at the adaptive-reuse Lee+White project, which has promised local jobs. As Atlanta magazine recently put it: “If southwest Atlanta were its own city, West End would be its downtown.”