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Curbed Cup Elite Eight: (3) South Park vs. (11) Burbank

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Which neighborhood should advance? Vote now!

Metropolis construction
South Park.
Alex Millauer | Shutterstock

The Curbed Cup, our annual award for the neighborhood of the year, is kicking off with 16 neighborhoods vying for the prestigious (fake) trophy. We’ll reveal each of the neighborhoods this week, and polls will be open for 24 hours so you can cast your vote as to which ones should advance. Let the eliminations commence!


South Park

Every year, Downtown LA’s fastest growing neighborhood climbs higher, and the flurry of development doesn’t seem likely to end any time soon. By our count, at least 27 projects are in the works in the busy area.

At least one of those developments will bring some badly needed green space to the neighborhood, and renovations to Broadway’s Julia Morgan-designed Herald Examiner building will add a new outpost for popular eatery République.

But you don’t have to look into the future to see that transformation is underway in South Park.

More of the much-hyped Metropolis megaproject came online this year, including the swanky Hotel Indigo, and amenity-rich condo tower Ten50 opened its doors to dozens of eager residents. The quickly fancifying neighborhood is also now home to the “most expensive” penthouse in the city.

Plenty walkable and transit friendly, South Park is also chock full of interesting restaurants and bars, with easy access to live entertainment venues (and, of course, the Staples Center). It’s a great place to live—if you can afford it.

Burbank

If your first instinct is to cast aside Burbank because of its chain stores and sizzling summertime temperatures, it’s time to reconsider. The city has a lot going for it—darling vintage shops in Magnolia Park, a laid back airport, and cute homes.

There are other reasons why the city landed in this year’s Curbed Cup competition. This summer, Curbed’s urbanism editor, Alissa Walker, proclaimed that Burbank was leading the Valley’s urban transformation. She laid out a pretty convincing case.

The city is planning to convert its former Ikea site into a walkable community with 765 housing units, it’s making the Burbank’s Town Center much more walkable, it’s expanding its network of bike lanes, and it’s “pushing to replace its aging airport terminal with an integrated air-rail station filled with cutting-edge sustainability features.”