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Curbed Cup 1st round: (1) Assembly Row vs. (16) Downtown Crossing

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Polls open 24 hours

It’s time—time to pick the Boston area’s neighborhood of the year!

Here’s how the annual Curbed Cup works: We present two matchups a day during the first round. Polls stay open 24 hours for each one. The biggest vote-getter in each matchup advances to the second round.

We start with 16, and we whittle it down to one.

Got it? Good. Go!

A subway train pulling away from a tall, glassy station. Photo by Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

(1) Assembly Row

Somerville’s Assembly Row swept the past two Curbed Cups. Will it win again?

The Orange Line-serviced, ever-expanding enclave of apartments, condos, and shops (many shops) welcomed the 447-unit, 20-story Montaje apartment complex this year.

Per usual for Assembly Row, that development is on the pricier side (studios can run to well more than $2,000/month). Whatever its costs, though, the neighborhood and its housing continue to prove extraordinarily popular.

(16) Downtown Crossing

Stefanie Metzger/

Has it happened yet? Is Boston’s Downtown Crossing a 24-7 neighborhood yet?

It certainly feels that way sometimes, thanks to the openings of Millennium Tower, which (for now) is the region’s tallest residential spire, and the Godfrey hotel.

There is also the promise of the redevelopment of 395-403 Washington Street—a.k.a. the old Barnes & Noble site—which has been shuttered since 2006. If that’s not a vote of confidence in the neighborhood, we don’t know what is.