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What Was Your Favorite Hub Neighborhood in 2014 and Why?

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We've asked notables in the regional real estate scene to assess the year that (almost) was. Now up: their favorite neighborhood in 2014.



John A. Keith, a Boston broker: South Boston has been inundated with residential housing development during the past several years and 2014 was no exception—infill projects, renovations/rehabs and new, large, dense developments all came online during the year, including the Flats on D and West Square. Neighbors have had to put up with a lot. The city's new mayor has promised rezoning of many other neighborhoods in the city, which might reduce pressure on building in South Boston, but hard to say. There's a lot to like about Southie and little to hate. Except for the lack of good public transportation (or, at least, lack of adequate public transportation—we're swamped down here), it has everything a city-dweller would want.
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Alex Hodara, owner of developer Hodara Real Estate Group: East Boston. I have really gotten to know the neighborhoods in Eastie and I love them. There are beautiful parks, a warm and vibrant community, amazing views of downtown Boston, a three-and-a-half-minute T ride to State Street, and housing prices are affordable.

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Lara Gordon, a broker in Cambridge and Somerville: Union Square in Somerville. It's a great mix of gritty roots, new hipster cafes and bars, and a real community feel. There's still lots more change on the horizon as we get closer to the arrival of the Green Line, so we'll see if the eclectic mix will survive; but my money's on Mayor Joe Curtatone, who is pushing hard to keep the area's character intact.
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David Bates, a Boston broker and our Bates By the Numbers columnist: Somerville. So many things are happening in so many different parts of Somerville it's hard to stay on top of it. I love the housing stock; the new upper-end sales; the vibe I got walking to the Painted Burro in Davis Square one Saturday night; Assembly Square; and perhaps most I liked the leadership and vision Mayor Joe Curtatone communicated when I interviewed him for Curbed.
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Charles Cherney, a broker in Cambridge and Somerville: Union Square. See this flip magazine to see why.
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Jonathan Berk, real estate attorney, founder of the BuildingBOS blog and member of Boston's Onein3 Council: East Boston. Some are calling it "Boston's Brooklyn" but I won't be among them. For decades, East Boston has faced away from a polluted Boston Harbor. Today, residents, city officials, and developers are working with MassPort (owner of much of the waterfront land) to activate the waterfront in East Boston and take advantage of what could be one of Boston's greatest neighborhoods, only minutes from downtown Boston and Logan Airport. Brooklyn, N.Y., it isn't but it has its own vibrancy that will continue to revitalize the waterfront neighborhood.
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Nick Warren, president and CEO of Warren Residential: I love Downtown Crossing and all that is happening there. Once Millennium Tower is complete and all of the new retail, restaurant and nightlife is in place, I think it is going to be as popular as Newbury and Boylston Street. I'm also hot on East Boston for 2015.
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Paul McMorrow, Boston Globe op-ed columnist and CommonWealth magazine associate editor: Favorite neighborhood of 2014 is obviously Assembly Square in Somerville. Three years ago it wasn't a neighborhood; it was a patch of dirt on a polluted river. Now it's apartments and offices and coffee shops and Legos and a Slumbrew beer garden and a movie theater with overstuffed leather chairs and 32-ounce pours of beer, all on the Orange Line. It's pretty good urbanism in the type of place where pretty good urbanism rarely crops up—next to a strip mall. The river is, admittedly, still pretty gross. We'll work on that.
· Our The Year in Curbed Boston archive [Curbed Boston]

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