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Curbed Cup 1st Round: (1) West Loop vs. (16) Ukrainian Village

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Harry Carmichael

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 breakfast hour 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!

The West Loop has perfect attendance at the Curbed Cup, and this year its seeding has vaulted from last to first. How so, you ask? By our recall, no other neighborhood has seen the number of planned and active developments in the last calendar year that West Loop has. The colossal office conversion known as 1K Fulton continues to lead, but the 33-story Arkadia tower has broken ground, The Gateway has been approved, and another 30+ story apartment proposal brings the promise of above-average design to new West Loop construction. And then there are the several condo and apartment mid-rises doing the heavy lifting in terms of neighborhood infill. You could call the swaying cranes and buzzing workers "vibrancy" if you'd like, but there's no need to settle: West Loop has gobs of everyday vibrancy, with more restaurants and hotels being planned each month than Stephanie Izard could ever hope to manage on her own.

Welcome, Ukrainian Village! The teensy nabe is making its first Cup appearance because the compact and idyllic community could go easily a decade with little-to-no physical change. Its nominator cited an "insane amount of development" touching down in 2013. Two streets come to mind: Chicago and Damen. "Insane" by Ukie Village standards, perhaps, a few condo clusters have indeed sprouted or are on the way on Chicago b/w Damen & Western and on Damen b/w Grand & Augusta. One 5-unit indulgence by Panoptic Group is a blast of modernity, and a larger townhouse and 3-flat cluster by Noah Properties has improved the streetscape just west of Damen & Erie. A stone's throw from there, developer Affito Domus, LLC would like to build 30 condos and three single-family homes on surface lots. Up on Chicago, contemporary residential infill is finishing at Leavitt, Mariano's Fresh Market is replacing Dominick's, and expansion plans for the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art are in the works.
·Curbed Cup 2013

Poll results

The Gateway

14 South Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60607