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Curbed Cup 1st round: (5) Union Square vs. (12) East Boston

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!

(5) Union Square

Todd Van Hoosear/Flickr

Few areas in the region are poised for as much change as Somerville’s Union Square.

For one thing, developer US2 received the necessary green lights this year to commence development of a 2.3 million-square-foot project that will include 1.38 million square feet of office, lab, retail, hotel, and arts space, never mind 950 housing units and 2.5 acres of what the developer calls “high-quality civic spaces.”

And a new development called Bow Market is slated to plunk around 30 storefronts in the neighborhood, including for a craft brewery, a comedy club, and a theater.

A looming Green Line stop—part of the route’s extension through Somerville into Medford—is driving much of this change.

(12) East Boston

Peyri Herrera/Flickr

East Boston is also undergoing its own spate of change. Like in Union Square, development is driving that change.

Big new projects include the 200-unit Boston East apartment complex and the 478-unit Clippership Wharf development, the 80 condos in which sold out in eight weeks. There are also a number of smaller projects going up or planned.

The development helps explain why Eastie’s prices have marched steadily upward of late—a trend likely to continue should the neighborhood land Amazon’s second headquarters (which looks like a real possibility).