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Curbed Cup 1st Round: Avondale (3) v. West Lakeview (6)

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The Curbed Cup, Curbed Chicago's annual Neighborhood of the Year tournament, is kicking off with eight (quarter)finalists, who will square off in a series of one-on-one matchups. Voting for each matchup will close in the wee hours of the following day. Let the eliminations begin!

A neighborhood pocked with industry and bisected by highway made the cut? You bet. It was nominated twice. We're going to demonstrate why. Forget flash and dash, Avondale is modest, diverse, and affordable. Once predominately Polish, the 'hood now has a strong Mexican contingent, and their respective shops and restaurants mingle along Milwaukee. Development news, while light, is encouraging. There are signs that the stalled condo building at Belmont and the river, one of the largest of the bust, may soon resume construction, and the WMS Gaming technology campus is undergoing a 'green' expansion. The fate of the Brand Brewing complex lies in the balance, but an encouraging 'stay' on its demolition is allowing for the rallying of public opinion and resources. But what about day-to-day stuff? Well, there are a couple of popular music halls in the Galaxie and Prop, and Kuma's Corner and Hot Doug's took the top two spots on Yelp's annual list of top restaurants.

West Lakeview, including Southport Corridor and Wrigleyville, is an esteemed shopping and boozing destination, that much is known. But what are its other attributes? There's a ton of great housing, and a standout is Alta Vista Terrace is a block-long row of 40 landmark homes by different architects, but developed by Samuel Eberly Gross, big time real estate figure of the era. As for recent happenings, the Cubs are busy consolidating their adjacent property holdings. We're thinking of last week's $20M purchase of a one-acre parcel that includes the McDonald's and parking lot at 3620 N Clark. The Cubbies are also working on designs for a Triangle Building (to neatly fit a triangular parcel), and others have thrown their hat in the ring with conceptual drawings. Also—and most importantly—we've learned that Rosie O. and Theo Epstein fancy the area's housing stock.
·2011 Curbed Cup: Name Chicago's Best Neighborhood!! [Curbed]

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