The Curbed Cup, Curbed Chicago's annual Neighborhood of the Year tournament, is kicking off with 16 'hoods, which 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. We'll showcase two first round contests per day through the week with results reviewed on Friday. Let the eliminations begin!
Only the South Loop (and DQ'd Uptown) had a stronger lobby than Avondale in the nominating round. And Avondale doesn't have a giddy and forceful booster quite like Sloopin or Uptown Update. Why all the enthusiasm? It could be all the young families "putting down roots on blue-collar blocks", or the "many new and ahead-of-the-curve restaurants" and emerging artist studios. Also, a couple commenters mentioned the newly solidified Avondale Neighborhood Association and its work developing the "art walk and helping coordinate murals at several expressway overpasses, with gardens coming next." Bigger developments include the WMS Gaming tech campus expansion on the river and the pending El Centro campus. But sorry, there's disappointment too: the old Brand Brewing complex on Elston came tumbling down this spring, paving the way for more big box retail.
Pullman is a very different neighborhood on the other side of town, but it too makes claims to neighborhood of the year. Aside from being recognized in national planning circles as a top 10 neighborhood, there's been encouraging movement on game-changing development. Commercial additions are commencing at the Pullman Park mega-project on Doty Avenue b/w 103rd and 106th, and other uses (hotel, residential, and new park space) will follow in time, hopefully. Also, renovation on the state historic site, including the Pullman Administration building and Hotel Florence, is far along (but financially challenged). But, perhaps most importantly, homeowner tax credits have kicked in for the northern portion of Pullman— making house-by-house renovations more feasible. The city has also partnered up for a round of rehabs. Anyone know the status of the National Park legislative push?
·Curbed Cup 2012