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Curbed Cup 1st Round: (3) River North vs. (14) Kenwood

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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!

At the risk of playing favorites, River North deserves to be a high seed in this year's tournament. We gave it the 12th seed in 2012 despite a eruption of tower construction, both apartment and hotel. This year, the nabe is contending with openings for much of that new construction: AMLI River North, Hubbard Place, and the Langham Chicago, to name the big ones. River North's obviously got the same swirling "concept" restaurant scene it's had for years, more likely to leave a lasting impression on your wallet than your palate. And it has a growing crop of hotel options with Langham, the Tri-Hotels, the Amalfi-turned-Kinzie Hotel, and the Staybridge-turned-Godfrey (coming soon).

For a small, established, and overwhelmingly residential neighborhood, Kenwood had some notable drama in 2013. It notched some sky-high sales, which had to leave neighbors feeling confident. Tops on that list is October's sale of the 11,500-square-foot Max Adler Mansion for $3.95M. Mansions by Horatio Wilson ($2.625M) and Alfred Alschuler ($1.82M) followed in tow. Fine, but where's the drama? Aha! We'll turn to trusty Col. Jennifer Pritzker for that: most Curbed devotees know of the conflict raging over two side-by-side Frank Lloyd Wright "bootleg" homes that Pritzker wants to buy, restore, and convert to bed-and-breakfasts. Pritzker's body of work creates easy friends and enemies, so don't expect a clear-cut finale on Kenwood Avenue. Craving a development report? There's not a ton of that going on, except for the confirmed start of the gorgeous City Hyde Park tower on the border with Hyde Park.
·Curbed Cup 2013

Poll results

City Hyde Park

1501 E. Hyde Park Blvd., Chicago, IL 60615